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Former England star Joe Cole insists Mason Mount should start instead of Jack Grealish when the Three Lions play Germany in the last 16 of Euro 2020.
Gareth Southgate has some big decisions to make ahead of the clash with the Germans on Monday, a game which is LIVE on talkSPORT from 5pm.
Mount and Ben Chilwell have been forced to self-isolate for ten days after coming into close contact with Billy Gilmour, who tested positive for coronavirus following England’s goalless draw with Scotland.
The trio were seen talking to each other for around 20 minutes with Southgate claiming Mount and Chilwell spent 120 seconds too long with Gilmour at full-time.
Mount’s isolation will end less than 24 hours before England take on Germany, with the Chelsea man training alone with fellow Blues ace Chilwell during their isolation.
But former Three Lions star Cole would still pick him over Grealish, who registered a match-winning assist in a 1-0 win against the Czech Republic on Tuesday.
Cole told Friday’s talkSPORT Breakfast: “As much as I love Jack, I’d go with Mase ahead of him for this game.
“Jack won’t like this, but having Jack off the bench, if it’s level after 60 minutes, imagine Wembley seeing Jack step up if we need something.
“You need someone on the bench who can change something.
“Mason’s a little bit more disciplined in the central position which allows you to change the system a little bit.
“It’s like choosing [a favourite] between your kids. Choosing between Mason Mount and Jack Grealish… I love them both!”
Cole admitted, though, that Southgate could turn to Grealish with the Aston Villa captain possibly being sharper than Mount with a week’s worth of training under his belt.
He explained: “Not having Mason [training], I know he’s an intelligent player, but that’s going to be playing on Gareth’s mind.
“Mason self-isolating might be the reason why Gareth gives Jack the nod instead of Mason because he’d be able to work with Jack in the lead up to the match.
“I still can’t get my head around what the rules and procedures are and why they’ve had to isolate for this long. I don’t understand it.”
It’s not only Cole who would hand Mount a start, despite his isolation and absence from squad training.
His former Chelsea and Derby manager Frank Lampard said last week Southgate can still rely on the midfielder, whose footballing brain is so sharp he would have no hesitation to pick him for the starting XI against Germany.
He told the BBC: “His fitness is unquestioned. How he will handle himself, I’m not sure what the practical nature of it and if he can go out and train but if he can on his own and keep himself at a level.
“I think Gareth can rely on him, the game we’re gonna have we’ll need to be very good off the ball as we are on it and Mason is a very complete package.
“I just sense if he can train on Monday with the team, get him anywhere near fit, I think Mason is so intelligent you can drop the game plan to Mason in meetings and he picks things up.
“So I wouldn’t be surprised if he relies on Mason whatever.”