England legend questions Gareth Southgate's handling of Jarell Quansah

Liverpool defender Jarell Quansah has found himself at the centre of a debate following England's 1-0 defeat to Iceland last Friday.

England legend Wayne Rooney has openly criticised national team manager Gareth Southgate for his handling of the young defender, who was left out of his final 26-man squad for Euro 2024.

Rooney, speaking on The Overlap, expressed his disappointment with Southgate's decision to keep Quansah as part of his squad for the game at Wembley without giving him the chance to play.

“Gareth should have sent them all home after telling them they won’t be picked,” Rooney said, in reference to the other omissions, which also included club teammate Curtis Jones.

“He kept Quansah there, and as soon as the final whistle went, Quansah goes in. He was probably in having a shower and leaving while everyone else was on the pitch.”

A meteoric rise

Quansah, a Liverpool academy graduate, has enjoyed a meteoric rise over the past year, moving from League One to becoming a member of Liverpool's senior squad and earning a call-up to England's pre-Euro 2024 squad.

Despite this progress, solidifying himself as Virgil van Dijk's regular partner at the heart of the Reds' defence, the 21-year-old was ultimately excluded from the final squad.

Football - FA Premier League - Aston Villa FC v Liverpool FC BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - Monday, May 13, 2024: Liverpool s Jarell Quansah R celebrates with team-mate captain Virgil van Dijk after scoring the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Aston Villa FC and Liverpool FC at Villa Park. Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda BIRMINGHAM Villa Park WEST MIDLANDS ENGLAND PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUK Copyright: xDavidxRawcliffex P2024-05-13-Aston_Villa_Liverpool-111

Southgate’s decision to keep Quansah around for the friendly against Iceland raised hopes that the young defender might at least make his full England debut. However, Quansah remained on the bench as England suffered a disappointing defeat in their final game before the European Championships in Germany.

Rooney’s comments highlight a broader concern about player management and the psychological impact of such decisions on young talents.

“Quansah should have had his moment,” Rooney argued, suggesting that the youngster’s hard work and merit warranted at least a few minutes on the pitch.

The former Everton and Manchester United forward's remarks resonate with many Liverpool fans who believe Quansah deserved better treatment.

When Quansah returns to the AXA Training Centre for pre-season under incoming manager Arne Slot, he'll do so with a sense of what might have been.

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