Jack Grealish has hit back at Roy Keane’s claim that he avoided taking a penalty in England’s Euro 2020 final shoot-out against Italy.
Bukayo Saka missed the decisive spot-kick but Keane was baffled why Arsenal’s 19-year-old was put in that position in the first place.
The Manchester United legend named Grealish and Raheem Sterling as two of England’s more senior players who should have stepped up to protect their teammate.
"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 told ITV, per Sky Sports.
"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."
Saka was one of three England players to miss in the penalty shoot-out. Marcus Rashford and his future Man United teammate Jadon Sancho also failed to convert from the spot.
Gareth Southgate takes responsibility for penalty takers
Gareth Southgate insisted he was responsible for the order of penalty takers on the night.
"I chose the penalty takers based on what we've done in training and nobody is on their own,” the England boss, who missed a decisive penalty himself at Euro 1996, told reporters. “We've won together as a team and it's absolutely on all of us in terms of not being able to win the game tonight.
"But in terms of the penalties, that's my call and totally rests with me."
Jack Grealish hits back at Roy Keane's claim
However, Grealish has now fired back at Keane’s claim that he shied away from taking a penalty in England’s biggest fixture since the 1966 World Cup final.
“I said I wanted to take one!!!!” the Aston Villa captain tweeted on Monday morning.
“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…”
That’s an emphatic response from Grealish, who is understandably angered by Keane’s accusation.
But it raises more questions over Southgate’s decision to select Saka as England’s fifth penalty, rather than 25-year-old Grealish or another member of the squad.
Stan Collymore reveals what Jack Grealish told him
Former England striker Stan Collymore spoke with Grealish after the match at Wembley.
The broadcaster said the first thing Grealish told him was: "I wanted to take a pen".
England lose on penalties - again (Football Terrace)
How much do you know about Jack Grealish and his England teammates? [Quiz]