Man Utd legend Robson: Hargreaves England’s most important

Robson told The Sun: “It surprises me when I hear people harking on about whether Gerrard and Lampard can play together in central midfield.

“With Hargreaves fit, I don’t think the issue should even arise. Of course the combination of Gerrard and Lampard works. They are both world-class players and we’ve produced plenty of good performances with them at the heart of things.

“But the balance of the team is much better with Hargreaves in there, because he allows them the freedom to play. He would always be in my team, with Gerrard on the right. Stevie G is so adaptable he can do an equally good job in that position.

“I am a big Hargreaves fan. I particularly like his energy levels and his aggression. He adds a bit of bite and control to the melting pot. He times his tackles better than any other midfielder we’ve got. I suppose people would say those are similar attributes to the ones I brought to the team.

“I’m not in the least surprised that Alex Ferguson is so keen to take him to United. We still talk a lot about different players and he will ask me what I think of midfielders in particular. We both rate Hargreaves highly.

“The Gaffer loves players who are a bit feisty as well as talented – and Hargreaves fits the bill on that score. He also tends to go for adaptable players and I’ve seen Hargreaves play well at right-back, right midfield and as a wing-back.

“But, for England, his best position is in central midfield, giving Gerrard and Lampard more scope to get forward.”