Rio Ferdinand has urged Gareth Southgate to withdraw Manchester United captain Harry Maguire ahead of England’s World Cup campaign.
The former United defender believes Southgate has better options to choose from ahead of the tournament.
Speaking to TalkSport, Ferdinand said: “Walker would start for me in the center half, but he’s not fit.
“You’ll make it? I don’t know. John Stones would be the first name on the team sheet.
“And I’ll be honest, I just can’t choose who else it’s going to be, it’s that hard. Chalobah is playing well right now, but when we get to the tournament, will he be in the same shape?
“Or is Gareth even going to pick someone like Chalobah who hasn’t really been around?
“Will Tomori smell again? It’s hard to think who he’s going to play against.”
With four names down before Harry Maguire is even considered, it’s clear that Ferdinand doesn’t see him as one of Southgate’s best options at the back.
And that’s partly due to the player’s lack of time on the pitch, as Maguire slipped down the pecking order at Old Trafford.
“Will you play Harry Maguire who hasn’t played any games? I think you need to play week after week,” Ferdinand said.
With just one club game left before the England team heads to Qatar, Maguire’s fitness is unlikely to improve much.
Despite that, Ferdinand sees an opportunity for the former Leicester City goalkeeper due to Southgate’s habit of sticking with his favourites.
“I think Gareth is a very loyal man, he knows what Harry Maguire brings to him.
“Listen, Harry Maguire has never let you down in an England shirt, let’s be frank about that.
“So I think that will carry some weight. But I don’t know, entering the tournament as a player who hasn’t played any football is difficult.
“It’s different coming in injured, he came into a tournament due to injury, I remember and he played well, but coming in and not playing and not having rhythm too, that’s hard work.”
Maguire will travel to Qatar, but it is unclear how much of an impact he will be able to have for the Three Lions given his circumstances.