Gareth Southgate has been told the perfect player to replace Trent Alexander-Arnold in England’s squad for this summer’s European Championships.
The England boss had named a provisional 33-man squad before cutting that down to a final list of 26 players last Tuesday.
But a major spanner was thrown in the works during the warm-up defeat of Austria when Alexander-Arnold was forced off injured.
After a scan, it was revealed that the Liverpool star had suffered a quad tear, sidelining him for six weeks and ruling him out of this summer’s tournament.
England manager Southgate will not name a replacement until after Sunday’s final warm-up game against Romania.
But he has been told by former Tottenham midfielder Jamie O’Hara that the man who should be called up as a replacement is Southampton star James Ward-Prowse.
The 26-year-old was an ever-present this season for the Saints, scoring eight goals and notching seven assists in the top-flight.
And O’Hara believes that his astonishing delivery from set-pieces should earn him a place as Alexander-Arnold’s replacement.
“Ward-Prowse has to go now because he’s a set-piece specialist,” O’Hara told talkSPORT.
“When you’ve got players like Jack Grealish, look these games will go to extra-time if we through the group stages, there might be one moment where legs are tired, it’s 0-0.
“We’re not going to win games three or four nil. We’re not going to blitz teams. We don’t do that at international level, we just don’t do it.
“We win games by set-pieces. He is one of the best set-piece takers in the world.”
O’Hara also believes that the lack of midfielders in England’s squad, with Jordan Henderson still uncertain to play, also counts in Ward-Prowse’s favour.
“I can’t believe we’re not taking him. Because when there’s 20 minutes left or it’s in extra-time and you think there’s nothing happening, we’re not opening them up, what do you do?” he said.
“Jack Grealish wins a foul around the box, Ward-Prowse comes on for 20 minutes, he bends one in the top corner and we win 1-0.
“And we’re light in midfield and Ward-Prowse is a decent midfielder.”
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