Adam Lallana would have been included in England’s World Cup squad had he been fully fit, Gareth Southgate has revealed.
The Liverpool midfielder has earned a recall for September’s matches against Spain and Switzerland after narrowly missing out on a ticket to Russia.
Persistent injuries restricted the 30-year-old to just one Premier League start last term and forced him to be content with a spot on standby.
Southgate had hoped to include Lallana in his final 23 and believes he still has plenty to offer leading into Euro 2016.
“Adam is a player that has had a big contribution for us,” the England boss told reporters.
“When you look at the squad I’ve named, all of that squad should be available for two years’ time.
“We don’t want to waste time looking at new things. We have to continue to progress but we’re working off a solid foundation this time.
“Adam is definitely a player that falls in the category of, if he had been fit, he would have definitely come with us in the summer.”
— England (@England) August 30, 2018
Lallana returns alongside Joe Gomez and Luke Shaw, both of whom also had their 2017-18 seasons scuppered by injury.
Left-back Shaw, 23, has impressed for Manchester United in the early part of the new campaign, convincing Southgate he is ready to add to his seven caps.
“He has had a difficult period in terms of adapting to a new a new club [and] a really horrendous injury he had to overcome,” the manager said.
“So really impressed with the physical condition he looks in. And he had an extra edge to his game in the last couple of matches I’ve seen.
“When the games have been going against his team, he’s been one that’s really shown an aggression, a desire not to lose.”
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