A fan has claimed Gareth Southgate cost England the Euros last summer with his decision to take off Declan Rice in the final.

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England were on course to end 55 years of hurt on home turf at Wembley after going 1-0 up early on in the final through Luke Shaw.

taly levelled in the 67th minute through Leonardo Bonucci and the game went all the way to penalties, where the Azzurri triumphed after costly misses from Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka from the spot.

With Italy dominating the ball throughout, Rice had an important role of screening the back four and driving England forward from midfield.

He churned in a superb performance but was replaced in the 74th minute by Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson.

And nearly a year on, England supporters feel as though that was the moment where the game went away from the Three Lions.

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While we don’t know the reasons Southgate made the call, we do know that Italy players were in disbelief that Rice came off and thought he must have been injured.

Italy legend Gianfranco Zola revealed a conversation he had with Italy’s back-up goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu about Rice.

“Look, this summer I was talking to (Salvatore) Sirigu who was the (Italy) second goalkeeper,” Zola said on BT Sport.

“He was on the bench and he said to me – because we had a chat about the final – We couldn’t believe when he (Rice) came off because we thought he was the best player they had, immediately we thought he was injured or a problem like that’.

“They were very pleased when he came off.”

Southgate is far from flavour of the month at the moment following a 4-0 hammering at the hands of Hungary in the UEFA Nations League.

The heavy loss at Molineux was the worst for 12 years and saw fans chant, You don’t know what you’re doing” at Southgate.

England have now gone over SIX hours without scoring a goal from open play and will look to change that against Italy when they return to action on 23 September in Milan.

Featured Image Credit: Image: TikTok/@footywillsv2

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