By 90Min
March 25, 2018

ITV pundit Lee Dixon has plumped for a surprise name as to who he thinks should be the first player on the plane to Russia this summer.

The former Three Lions full-back believes that Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson is the most important figure in the national side and should be selected without hesitation by Gareth Southgate for a seat on the plane.

Dean Mouhtaropoulos/GettyImages

Henderson was made captain for Friday's friendly match with Holland, which England won 0-1 thanks to a goal from Jesse Lingard, and the midfielder had a good game in Amsterdam and was acknowledged for it by his manager.

Speaking ahead of the game, Dixon said of the former Sunderland man, as quoted by Sport Review: "Jordan Henderson gets a lot of criticism for me, I think he’s number one on the plane. 

He just plays that position, he’s captain, and he will lead by example tonight. That’s all you can ask."

Dixon's assessment is sure to divide opinion - Henderson is a player who has not always convinced since his move to Anfield in 2011 and one who often gets stick for his 'lack of a standout attribute'.

Particularly for England, Henderson has never really shone - but that can be said for a host of other players who do the business for their respective clubs but come up short for their country.

It remains to be seen if Henderson is selected to start against Italy on Tuesday, with Gareth Southgate stating that he will make changes for the game.

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