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Gareth Southgate Drops Hint About Jordan Henderson Euro Fitness Race

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The Three Lions boss has suggested the England vice-captain is all but certain to miss the tournament opener

FBL-WC-2018-MATCH62-CRO-ENG Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

Liverpool stars hoping to suit up for England in the upcoming Euro 2021 tournament have had a rollercoaster few days. First Trent Alexander-Arnold and Jordan Henderson, were definitely not making the final cut then they actually did make the squad and now it looks like they’re out again.

Alexander-Arnold’s omission was more definite as a result of the quad injury sustained in Wednesday’s meaningless friendly against Austria. However, Liverpool skipper and Three Lions vice-captain Jordan Henderson had made the squad with the assumption that he could complete his comeback from a long-term groin injury sustained in February.

Instead, the midfielder is reported to have complained of discomfort the morning of the Austria match, although subsequent scans thankfully did not reveal any setbacks. While the almost-31 year old is scheduled to resume full training on Friday, there is said to be no chance he will feature in the June 13 tournament opener against Croatia due to lack of match sharpness.

“I don’t think it would be fair to rule him out of it but I think it’s clear to everyone how much football he’s missed,” Three Lions manager Gareth Southgate said on Thursday.

“The timelines are getting more difficult with each training session he might miss. But I’m being very realistic about what’s possible here. It’s a decision we took [to select Henderson] because we have been able to take extra players and we feel he is such an important influence around the place.

“If we can get him close to being able to contribute on the pitch against Croatia that will be a real bonus at the moment.”

Were Henderson deemed not fit enough to contribute to the England effort, it is reported that Borussia Dortmund starlet Jude Bellignham would be in line to start against Croatia. As gutted as Liverpool supporters might be for Henderson, many of the Anfield faithful would appreciate the upside of their skipper getting an extended summer break to fully rehabilitate for the upcoming season.