Brendan Rodgers Says Liverpool Quartet Will Gain Valuable Experience at U-21 European Championships


Jordan HendersonBrendan Rodgers believes Liverpool will reap the benefits of having four players represent England at this summer’s U-21 European Championships.

Jordan Henderson, Jonjo Shelvey, Andre Wisdom and Jack Robinson have been included in the Young Lions’ 23-man squad for the tournament, which takes place in Israel next month.

England will kick off against Italy on June 5 and Rodgers feels the Reds quartet will profit from the experience.

“It’s great for Jordan, Jonjo, Andre and Jack to be part of it,” the manager said. “I always think going to big championships like that is great for their learning.

“All these football experiences are good for them. I’m not one who is against players representing their countries.

“Obviously there needs to be a balance in terms of the demands placed on them but I look upon it as a real positive that we have had four players called up.

“Look at someone like Juan Mata. Two years ago he dropped down from the senior Spain squad to the U21s and helped them win the tournament.

“A year later he was part of the team who won Euro 2012 and then last summer he went off to the Olympics. This season he’s gone on and played more than 60 games.

“Major tournaments can be really beneficial in terms of helping players in their development. I am sure if our four players get that experience this summer then they will come back to us as better players.”

Raheem Sterling missed out on being selected for England U-21s due to injury — and Rodgers insists the winger not taking part is the best decision for all parties as he continues his rehabilitation in order to be fit for the start of next season.

“I spoke to Stuart Pearce about it and our medics were in conversation with the England doctors,” he said. “Everyone was in agreement that we need to look after the long-term situation with Raheem.

“He’s obviously had a chronic problem where he’s been playing and working through it. But we needed to give him recovery and rest. He will be better for that. He’s making progress and he will be fresh for the beginning of the season.”

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