Jack Grealish has hit back at Roy Keane after the legendary Manchester United captain criticised him for not stepping up to take a penalty in England's shootout loss to Italy.
"If you're (Raheem) Sterling or (Jack) Grealish, you cannot sit there and have a young kid [Saka] go up for a penalty ahead of you, you can't," Keane said on 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 took to Twitter this morning to respond to Keane's comments.
I said I wanted to take one!!!!
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… https://t.co/3mBpKyMoUV
— Jack Grealish (@JackGrealish) July 12, 2021
Italy prevailed 3-2 in the shootout with Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka all missing for England.
"It was an amazing night, a brilliant night of football," Keane added on ITV.
"We said that it was going to go to penalties because no one deserved to lose this.
"Somebody has got to miss a penalty, and it is not a night to be critical of anybody, and certainly not Gareth [Southgate].
"I think they have been magnificent, and instead of criticising the player that missed, I admire the players that stepped up.
"Credit should also go to both goalkeepers who made some brilliant saves on a tough night for England.
"I always say that you have to lose to win," Keane added. "The World Cup is around the corner. It was a tough night, but you have to take your medicine and move on."
It was Bukayo Saka who missed the final penalty for England, while Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford also failed to find the back of the net in the deciding moments.
However Keane believes that the youngsters will end up being better for it as they will learn from the missed opportunity, and grow as footballers.
"It is the whole package," Keane said. "Saka is a child, he is a child! And I guarantee he will be better for it, it might not feel like it tonight, but it is all part of growing up I'm afraid.