Murphy names three players that should partner in England’s midfield


Amidst ongoing discussions surrounding England’s midfield setup, former Three Lions player Danny Murphy has proposed an unconventional solution: deploying defender John Stones in midfield alongside Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham.

While Rice and Bellingham are expected starters, the debate rages on about the ideal partner for them in midfield.

Many suggestions lean towards a creative playmaker like Phil Foden or James Maddison, but England manager Gareth Southgate appears inclined towards a more conservative approach, favoring a No.8 to link play between Rice and Bellingham.

However, options like Jordan Henderson and Conor Gallagher have yielded mixed results, and injuries have limited Trent Alexander-Arnold’s opportunities in the role.

In the upcoming friendly against Belgium on Tuesday night, Manchester United prospect Kobbie Mainoo will feature alongside Rice, indicating Southgate’s openness to experimentation.

But Murphy is proposing Stones as an intriguing alternative, citing his attributes such as athleticism, tenacity, and passing ability.

He suggested that playing Stones in a holding role could provide England with an ideal midfield setup, with Rice and Bellingham complementing him effectively.