Oxlade-Chamberlain offered England assurances after return to fitness at Liverpool
The Reds midfielder has not figured for his country in over a year, following a long-term injury, but remains in the thoughts of Gareth Southgate
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been assured that he remains part of England’s plans, with Gareth Southgate merely opting not to rush the Liverpool midfielder.
The Three Lions named their latest squad on Thursday.
With the Nations League finals approaching, Southgate has pieced together an initial 27-man party.
That will be trimmed to 23 before a fixture with the Netherlands in Portugal on June 6.
The likes of James Ward-Prowse and Nathan Redmond got the nod among the midfield options, but there was no place for Oxlade-Chamberlain alongside the Southampton duo.
That is because he has only recently returned to action from a serious knee problem that kept him sidelined for 12 months.
Southgate is eager to avoid asking too much of the 25-year-old in his ongoing recovery and has overlooked him as a result.
A man who last figured for his country on March 2018 during a friendly date with Italy does, however, still figure in England’s thoughts heading towards Euro 2020.
“I think when you are recovering from an anterior cruciate ligament injury, you need a period of time to get into more starts, more 90 minutes under his belt and it’s an important thing for him that he’s managed to get some minutes at Liverpool,” Southgate said of Oxlade-Chamberlain.
“But I think a good pre-season… because what’s happened with him, a couple of minor hamstring injuries, is classic when you’ve been out with a long-term injury.
“We shouldn’t be risking him in our games at this stage of his recovery from a serious injury. But he’s very much in our thoughts for next season.”
For now then, Oxlade-Chamberlain is being freed to focus on club matters.
Liverpool still have a Champions League final date with Tottenham to take in on June 1 before heading into the summer break.
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A number of their players are due to be involved with England’s quest for silverware in the Nations League, while others will also take in international duty, but some will not be seen again until pre-season.