Gareth Southgate has shared his relief that Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold looks set to be fit for the start of pre-season.
The right-back was delivered a devastating injury blow in England’s warm-up injury over Austria on Wednesday night – ruling him out of this summer’s European Championship.
And while Southgate can do nothing to lessen the blow of missing the tournament for Alexander-Arnold, he delivered an encouraging update on his long-term fitness.
“It’s very difficult to say anything that will make a player feel any better at the moment,” Southgate said ahead of England’s final friendly on Sunday against Romania ahead of Euro 2020.
“I have empathy because I have been a player and I know how difficult it is.
“It’s heartbreaking when you see a young player walk off the field and he knows it is serious. It was a really devastating blow for him and for us.
“We started him the other night and hoped he could build into the tournament.
“He was hugely disappointed and you know however much you say – he will have opportunities again – when you are a young player on the eve of a tournament it is awful.
“We weren’t entirely sure how long he would be out for, but it looks like he will be fine for the beginning of next season, so that is a small consolation.”
Meanwhile, Southgate says England are determined ‘more than ever’ to take a knee during the upcoming European Championship.
Some fans booed when players made the anti-racism stance before Wednesday’s fixture against Austria at the Riverside Stadium.
“The first thing is we are collectively really disappointed it (the booing) happened,” Southgate said at the same press conference.
“Some people decide to boo – I think those people should put themselves in the shoes of those young players and how that must feel, and if that was their children, how would they feel about their kids being in that sort of situation.
“The most important thing for our players is to know that we are totally united on it, we’re totally committed to supporting each other, supporting the team.
“We feel more than ever determined to take the knee through this tournament. We accept there might be an adverse reaction and we’re just going to ignore that and move forward.
“I think the players are sick of talking about the consequences of should they, shouldn’t they. They’ve had enough really.
“As far as I’m concerned they are not going to take more questions on this through the tournament. If it happens, it happens. They’re very clear. Their voices have been heard loud and clear.
“They are making their stand but they want to talk about the football and want the focus to be on the football.”
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