Gareth Southgate has revealed Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain would have started for England in the World Cup had it not been for his long-term injury sustained in last season's Champions League semi-final for Liverpool.
The Reds midfielder damaged cruciate and medial ligaments, plus the tendons to his hamstring, in the Champions League semi-final first leg against Roma causing him to both miss the final of the competition and the entirety of the Three Lions' World Cup run.
Southgate on Ox... “I think we’ve been quite clear in that he would have been in starting XI for the World Cup had he been fit.”— John Cross (@johncrossmirror) August 29, 2019
After being included in the latest squad for the upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Kosovo and Bulgaria, the England boss revealed his admiration for the 26-year-old, as relayed by the Mirror's John Cross.
“I think we’ve been quite clear in that he would have been in starting XI for the World Cup had he been fit," Southgate said.
Oxlade-Chamberlain has not played for England since March 2018 but has done enough to convince Gareth Southgate to put him back in the squad, having returned to full fitness this season and featuring regularly for Liverpool.
To date, the former Arsenal player has won 32 caps for England, since making his senior debut back in 26 May 2012 in a 1–0 win against Norway after coming on as a substitute for Ashley Young in the second half.
There were other notable mentions in Southgate's squad, with Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount getting picked alongside Leicester playmaker James Maddison and Manchester United defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Most notably, however, was the omission of Manchester City defender Kyle Walker, who misses out to Wan-Bissaka and Kieran Trippier in the right-back role. On the decision, Southgate said it was 'an opportunity to look at two young players and chance to reintegrate Kieran Trippier', while also mentioning he spoke to the City defender.