World Cup standby Adam Lallana has linked up with England early in a bid to improve his fitness and prove his worth.
Ahead of Saturday’s penultimate warmup friendly against Nigeria at Wembley, Gareth Southgate’s men have travelled south from their St George’s Park training base.
Lallana was among the players that met up at The Grove on Wednesday evening and trained with England for the first time at Arsenal’s complex on Thursday.
Liverpool’s players have been given a week off following Saturday’s Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid, but the 30-year-old decided to come back early in a bid to sharpen up.
Lallana has endured an injury-hit campaign that has restricted him to just one Premier League start, leading Southgate to leave the attacking midfielder out of his World Cup squad.
But England’s player of the year in 2016 is on the standby list and, after playing an hour from the bench in Kiev, is looking to impress Southgate in case there is a withdrawal from the 23.
Lallana joined fellow standby players Jake Livermore and Tom Heaton at training, along with Nathaniel Chalobah as the midfielder continues his rehabilitation from a serious knee injury.
James Tarkowski had to pull out of the standby list in order to undergo a hernia operation, while Lewis Cook is with England Under-21s at the Toulon Tournament.
England face Costa Rica at Elland Road on June 7 in their final competitive friendly before jetting out to Russia on June 12.
Southgate’s Three Lions open Group G against Tunisia on June 18, then take on Panama and star-studded Belgium.