Manchester United and England legend Rio Ferdinand has raised concern over the form of England’s defenders for the World Cup.
Gareth Southgate preferred three back for England; Harry Maguire, John Stone, and Kyle walker have all been battling with injuries.
John Stone has made 10 appearances for Manchester City and returned from a hamstring injury against Leicester City. Harry Maguire has started only games for Manchester United and lost his place in Manchester United’s starting eleven to Raphael Varane following a poor start to the season.
Kyle Walker has not been in action since his injury against Manchester United in the Manchester derby.
Rio Ferdinand believes England’s defense problem is a cause for concern.
What did Rio Ferdinand say?
The Manchester United legend said: “I’ve always thought if you’re going to win a tournament, you’ve got to have a good defense.
“Italy had experience, solid defenders to win the Euros. You can go down the years and you can see that. That’s where we’re probably at our weakest now. Even if there weren’t injuries or lack of form, I feel like that was our weakest area anyway.
“Kyle Walker, our quickest defender, has been out. Maguire, form, and injuries. When you’re looking at it, you’re thinking ‘What are we going to do?’ Harry hasn’t let England down ever. He’s been phenomenal for England. But his form has gone out the window for Man Utd. He’s not on the team, he’s got an injury as well.
“Going into a tournament, I couldn’t think of another worst-case scenario. I would be concerned about that. But to be fair to him, Harry hasn’t let Gareth down. So as a manager you’re going to go with what you know, with what you’re comfortable with. But he trusts him. It could be blind trust, I don’t know. But he does trust him.
“The problem he’s got is it’s not like he’s not sitting there where he has four or five other candidates like in my generation where you’d be able to go, ‘he’s out of form’ or ‘he’s not playing or ‘he’s injured.
“I had Sol Campbell, Jamie Carragher, Jonathan Woodgate, Ledley King, the list goes on. All of those players start today. There’s no one in there now that you go: ’They jump out as the No.1 candidates to go and play.’ So it’s very difficult. I think that could in the end be our Achilles heel.
“Is Trevoh Chalobah going to be ready? He’s playing really well. But last month it was Fikayo Tomori. Before that, it was Marc Guehi. It’s a real worry.”
England will begin their World Cup campaign against Iran on the 21st of November.