With just one Liverpool player in the England squad for Euro 2020, how many Reds will be involved for the Three Lions at the 2022 World Cup?
Now that the Euros have concluded, the international focus will turn to Qatar next year.
While Trent Alexander-Arnold was in the squad before his injury, Jordan Henderson was the only Liverpool player involved for England when they lost to Italy in last Sunday’s final.
Yet there is no shortage of English players in the current Liverpool squad. In fact, there are 11 Englishmen in the first-team squad right now, although this will likely be trimmed down after the summer transfer window.
James Milner, Nat Phillips, Rhys Williams, Ben Davies and Sheyi Ojo are unlikely to be Liverpool players by the time the 2022 World Cup comes around. We cannot see any of them breaking into the England squad by that time.
So there are six current Liverpool players that have a realistic chance of playing for England at the tournament.
Here, we will assess each one and judge how likely they are to make the squad.
We begin with Henderson, the only Red to play for England at Euro 2020.
By the time the World Cup begins in November 2022, the Liverpool captain will be 32-years-old. It is hard to say what level he will be at by this stage, especially with injuries becoming more common for him.
Yet we still believe that he will be involved.
He is going to be a regular for Liverpool this season. We do think that he will start to get phased out in 2022/23, but that will probably come after the World Cup.
He may not be a guaranteed starter, but Gareth Southgate will want his experience in the squad.
Trent Alexander-Arnold would have been involved this summer if not for injury. The question is exactly how involved.
Gareth Southgate is a huge fan of both Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier. Yet both of those, like Henderson, will be 32 by the time the World Cup comes around.
We reckon that Alexander-Arnold will have cemented his status as the best right-back in the world beyond doubt by this stage, making it impossible for Southgate to ignore.
He will have lots of competition, led by Reece James. But the Scouser is already a level above and is only going to be better by then.
Surely he will be a guaranteed starter at right-back.
Perhaps he will be considered as an option in central midfield by this time too.
In summer 2020, he was a key part of a title-winning Liverpool side having just turned 23. He had formed arguably the best centre-back pairing in the world along with Virgil van Dijk.
Then, things were delayed and he missed this year’s competition with injury.
John Stones also recovered his form, putting him back in the mix.
Will Gomez manage to wrestle him, or Harry Maguire, out of the starting XI by winter 2022?
This time last year, Gomez and Maguire would have been the best pairing. Then there was a period where Maguire dropped off and we would have gone for Gomez and Stones.
Gomez’s absence and great form at the Euros mean that it is now Stones and Maguire, but that could change 10 times before the World Cup.
We think that Gomez could be the best of the three. If he stays fit, he can prove to the world that he is an elite defender, hence forcing his way into the England side.
But he needs to stay fit. That is the big ask.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is very much the forgotten man for both Liverpool and England.
Time spent out of each side due to injury has led to fans forgetting exactly how good he can be when played in the right position.
Had lockdown not hit, the Ox could have showcased more performances like the one he put in against Atletico Madrid in the last game before football’s break. If he did so, he would certainly have made England’s Euro 2020 squad.
Yet things changed and injuries struck. This means he only has a very small chance of forcing his way back into England’s plans.
If the £35m man (BBC) can recover his best form and nail down a spot in Liverpool’s starting side, then he is almost guaranteed a spot in the 2022 squad.
Unfortunately, though, we consider this a very small possibility.
More likely to overtake Oxlade-Chamberlain in both the Liverpool and England pecking orders is Curtis Jones.
His status in the squad grew immensely last season and is likely to do so again in 2021/22.
If he impresses enough and starts 10-20 Premier League games this season, then who knows what will happen with him and England? A player that plays regularly for a team as big as Liverpool at such a young age would definitely be in with a good chance of making the squad.
He is one of the few out-and-out No 8’s that England have, so he has a great chance if Southgate decides to play a 4-3-3.
Harvey Elliott could well be the bolter in England’s 2022 World Cup squad.
This season should see him regularly involved with Liverpool’s first team for the first time. Who knows, by the end of the season he could well have taken the world by storm
He is a phenomenal talent. There is a possibility that Liverpool enter the 2022/23 season with Elliott as a guaranteed starter.
Of course, he will only be 19 by the time the tournament kicks off. He also has some incredibly stiff competition.
But nobody knows what could happen with injuries or form. The likes of Phil Foden, Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho could be miles off it in 16 months time.
If so, and Elliott bursts onto the Premier League scene in that period, then he could well find himself on the plane to Qatar.