Aston Villa's Jack Grealish has hit out at claims that he did not want to take a penalty in England's Euro 2020 final defeat to Italy on Sunday.
After Harry Kane and Harry Maguire both scored their penalties, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho failed to convert and the decisive kick was given to 19-year-old Bukayo Saka, who had never taken a penalty before in his senior career.
Saka saw his effort saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma, after which Roy Keane laid in to both Grealish and Raheem Sterling for what he saw as a refusal to take a penalty.
"If you're Sterling or Grealish, you cannot sit there and have a young kid go up for a penalty ahead of you, you can't," Keane told ITV. "You cannot let a shy 19-year-old go up in front of you. They have a lot more experience, Sterling has won trophies, they had to get in front of the young kid and stand up."
Grealish has since hit back on Twitter, insisting he did offer to take one but was bumped down the list by manager Gareth Southgate.
"I said I wanted to take one!" he wrote. "The gaffer has made so many right decisions through this tournament and he did tonight! But I won’t have people say that I didn’t want to take a peno when I said I will."
Phil Foden and John Stones both revealed earlier this summer that England have been working tirelessly on penalties to try and limit the uncertainty of the situation.
The list of preferred kick-takers had been discussed and everything from the walk-up to the finishing had been practiced in training, with England determined to put their tricky history with penalties to bed.
Southgate has taken full responsibility for the shortcomings of his side in the final, insisting the list of takers was decided solely by him.
Source : 90min