Jose Mourinho says Jack Grealish should start against the Czech Republic because England “look like a shy team”.
The Roma boss added they need the Aston Villa star’s bravery in their final group match on Tuesday which could see them top Group D.
While the game is important to how England grow into the tournament and for determining their last-16 opponent, their qualification for the next round was confirmed on Monday thanks to results in Group B.
This is because they already have four points under their belts after defeating Croatia 1-0 and drawing with Scotland 0-0.
But the draw displayed a shyness on the ball for Mourinho, something he believes can be cured by Grealish.
He wrote for The Sun : “The guy is brave. The guy never played a European match for his club but he arrives in the national team and is fearless.
“He risks. He gambles. He loses the ball. He creates. He kicks people. People kick him. He creates instability in opponents. And he wins free-kicks.
“England looked a shy team against Scotland because they were a team without that thing that Grealish has.
“I don’t like comparing players — and Luis Figo was at a different level — but Grealish is like Figo in that he’ll demand the ball. He says, ‘Give me the ball and I will resolve this!”
While Grealish could make his first start of the Euros, there’s another star who could make his tournament bow – Manchester United captain Harry Maguire.
He entered the 26-man squad nursing an ankle injury but he has returned to training and was named on the bench against Scotland.
While many fans may be excited to see Maguire return, Mourinho added he should only be brought on by one condition.
Mourinho added: “I’d only bring on Maguire if England are winning 2-0.
“[John] Stones and [Tyrone] Mings are doing well, two clean sheets, fit and playing well together.
“Maguire brings that leadership and presence, though. He is a threat in set-pieces but his condition needs to be good.”
Two players that are unlikely to star are Ben Chilwell and Mason Mount as they are in self-isolation after coming into close contact with Scotland’s Billy Gilmour who tested positive for Covid on Sunday.
There has been confusion around why the England players have to isolate when no other Scottish star is doing the same.
And while Southgate was unsure of all the circumstances, he did say it was partly due to the trio having a 25 minute chat in the tunnel after the match.
He said: “The protocols – it would be something to do with chatting after the game but I have no idea of all the detail.
“That’s why we’ve taken the decision at this point to isolate them.
“That’s why we’re having to have the discussions with Public Health England, as I understand it, and I’m sure the guys will update you as soon as they know more.
“I really don’t know how all that works. All I know is that we are in the situation we’re in and we’re complying with Public Health England and there’s nothing else we can do.
“I was on the training pitch when I found out, so we’d just literally finished training.
“In terms of the team, we’ll need to go through details with the players in the morning really, so we’ll have to know by late tonight or first thing in the morning of their availability and if not we’ll just have to play on without them.”