Gareth Southgate has echoed the “heartbreaking” sentiments after injury forced Trent Alexander-Arnold to drop out of England’s squad for Euro 2020.
After months and months of conjecture surrounding the right-back and his England hopes, it was all taken away so cruelly through injury a day after being named in the 26-man squad.
A grade two quad tear is to sideline Alexander-Arnold for four to six weeks, ensuring there will be no proving his critics wrong on the international stage this summer.
But as his Liverpool captain and vice-captain noted in their public message to the 22-year-old, he has “lots of tournaments ahead of him” and that is a silver lining Southgate also pointed out.
The England manager voiced his disappointment over the absence of Alexander-Arnold for a tournament that is now just seven days away – the replacement in the squad has yet to be named.
“It’s heartbreaking really for any player to get to the eve of a major tournament, be named in the squad and then miss out through injury,” Southgate said.
“You know how rare these opportunities are and even though he’s a young player who is going to have those opportunities again, I firmly believe that that’s a really difficult moment, for him especially.
“It’s a big disappointment for us of course as well, but you can’t help but first and foremost feel for Trent in this situation.
“The one thing I was pleased about, in that immediately after the game I didn’t like the look of the injury, at least it sounds as though he should be fine for pre-season and next season.
“But that is a very small positive in the situation he is in. He was very upset, bitterly disappointed, and in those moments everybody is thinking about him.”
And while the disappointment will linger on a personal level, it is welcome news that the No. 66 is to be back in the mix in time for when Liverpool kickstart pre-season on July 12, with the club “confident” of his recovery timeline.