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Liverpool youngsters must be at the heart of England rebuild

| 20.06.2014

The performances were much better than in 2010 but that will be of scant consolation for most England fans this morning as they wake up knowing the Three Lions are almost definitely out of the World Cup.

Were Italy to win both of their last two group games and England beat Costa Rica there could still be a route into the last 16, but as no side has ever lost their first two games at a World Cup and gone through, it’s best not to hold too much hope.

Roy Hodgson’s side are 3/5 to beat Los Ticos, who can completely end England chances by drawing with Italy in their second game.

The Three Lions can take some heart from the performances of their young players in Brazil, with Hodgson largely making good on his promises to give youth a chance.

Liverpool in particular were well represented in South America, and as England look towards Euro 2016 and World Cup 2018, they should shape their side around the Reds’ young stars.

Everyone knows about Daniel Sturridge after his 21 goals in the Premier League and the 24-year-old can be relied on the lead the line for his country for years to come.

Raheem Sterling was perhaps the breakthrough star of the tournament for England. The 19-year-old completed nine take ons across two games in Brazil and was especially impressive against Italy.

In midfield, Jordan Henderson must be released from the defensive role he was pressed into to try and get the best form Steven Gerrard.

The former England Under-21 captain has been revitalised by Brendan Rodgers at Anfield, scoring four and setting up seven in the Premier League last season, and could up skippering his country’s senior side at some point.

Sturridge, Sterling and Henderson are already in England’s first team, but one more Anfield teammate should join them going forward, Jon Flanagan.

With Liverpool linked with several left-backs this summer, Flanagan should be moved back to the right flank, where he can replace Glen Johnson for club and country.

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Alex Fortune