England's Euro 2020 squad numbers confirmed as Ferdinand criticises Maguire pick
"Hopefully he proves me wrong, I would love it if he did."
Every England supporter that studied metatarsal injuries, over the past two decades, will be acutely aware of the point Rio Ferdinand is making.
Earlier on Tuesday, Gareth Southgate named his final 26-man England squad for Euro 2020 - with all four right-backs from the provisional squad retained for the tournament. Harry Maguire also made the cut, despite having not playing for Manchester United since May 9.
Maguire was injured in United's league win over Aston Villa and may not be fully fit for the group-stage games at Euro 2020. Over on his FIVE YouTube channel, former United and England defender Rio Ferdinand gave his take on Maguire's inclusion.
"England needed another centre back," said Ferdinand. This tells me Southgate is definitely playing three at the back.
"Harry Maguire’s not even fit, I wouldn’t even take Maguire. You’re not fit, you’re not going to be fit for ages, it doesn’t make sense.
"I’ve been in squads with players who haven’t been fit and they don’t perform when they’re not themselves. It happened with Becks [David Beckham] and Wazza [Wayne Rooney]. As good as Maguire is, he’s not a Becks or a Wazza.
"I don’t think you should take someone who’s not 100% fit. It’s hard to come back and get into a rhythm. That narrative ends up taking over the squad and it becomes the conversation and a distraction. Do we really need that? It’s pointless I think. Hopefully he proves me wrong, I would love it if he did."
Another announcementEngland fans had been waiting to hear is, of course, what squad numbers the players will all be wearing on their backs.
For the shirt fanatics, the pedants, the modern fans who think 6 should be for midfielders and 4 should be for midfielders, this news is for you.
Here are England's squad numbers for Euro 2020:
#1 Jordan Pickford, #2 Kyle Walker, #3 Luke Shaw, #4 Declan Rice, #5 John Stones, #6 Harry Maguire, #7 Jack Grealish, #8 Jordan Henderson, #9 Harry Kane, #10 Raheem Sterling #11 Marcus Rashford, #12 Kieran Trippier, #13 Dean Henderson, #14 Kalvin Phillips, #15 Tyrone Mings, #16 Conor Coady, #17 Jadon Sancho, #18 Dominic Calvert-Lewin, #19 Mason Mount, #20 Phil Foden, #21 Ben Chilwell, #22 Trent Alexander-Arnold, #23 Sam Johnstone, #24 Reece James, #25 Bukayo Saka, #26 Jude Bellingham.
Our #EURO2020 squad numbers have been confirmed! 🔢
— England (@England) June 1, 2021
Alexander-Arnold's inclusion came as a late surprise, especially as it came at the expense of James Ward-Prowse, an orthodox midfielder.
Walker, Stones, Maguire, Kane, Sterling, and Trippier keep their squad numbers that they wore at the 2018 World Cup, while Rashford takes the number 11 shirt having previously worn number 19.
You can only read so much into squad numbers, but Grealish taking number 7 could indicate that he is in line to be a nailed on starter.
Shaw taking the number 3 shirt over Chilwell could also suggest the Manchester United man will start over his Chelsea counterpart at left-back.