England youngsters in ‘matches that matter’ have Southgate looking up | Jacob Steinberg

With English players prominent in the Premier League and Liverpool storming to the Champions League final, Gareth Southgate is cheerful about England’s future prospects

Sometimes managers pepper their answers with cliches just to get to the end of a press conference. Yet Gareth Southgate is not being flippant when he responds to a question about the Champions League final by emphasising how Liverpool will be representing England when they face Real Madrid in Kiev on Saturday. With the World Cup looming large, England’s manager makes no attempt to play down the significance of Liverpool’s progress under Jürgen Klopp.

“It is big,” Southgate says. “We want our players in those big matches. The experience for the likes of Jordan Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Adam Lallana over the last few months of playing in those matches that matter – and it was the same for the Spurs boys in their games and the Man City boys – you want them in that environment and to experience winning things.”

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