Rhys Williams: Liverpool defender left out of England U21 squad with hip issue

Liverpool centre-back Rhys Williams was left out of the England Under-21s squad to face Albania on Tuesday night with a hip issue.

Manager Aidy Boothroyd said the 19-year-old was sent back to Liverpool as a precaution after complaining about a small hip problem ahead of the game.

“He had a very minor stiff hip,’ Boothroyd said. “It was in his best interests to get him back to Liverpool.

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“With all the players, if there’s any potential injuries or niggles then our medical staff is in contact with the club.

“Rhys wasn’t actually on the bench so I thought the best thing was to get him back to Liverpool.”


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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp will be hoping the injury is not serious ahead of Sunday’s match against Leicester, live on Sky Sports, after Joe Gomez sustained what is likely to be a season-ending injury with the senior England side last week, while Virgil van Dijk is set to miss the 2020/21 campaign with a long-term knee injury.

Liverpool's lengthening injury list

Club captain Jordan Henderson is a doubt to face Leicester after coming off for England against Belgium at the weekend with tightness in his leg, while Trent Alexander-Arnold withdrew from the squad ahead of the game with injury.

The defence is threadbare with left-back Andy Robertson also a doubt with a hamstring issue while Liverpool’s midfield is without Thiago Alcantara and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as both players recover from knee injuries.

Meanwhile, forward Mohamed Salah is set to miss Sunday’s match as he isolates after testing positive for COVID-19.

Williams could still be named as a substitute for Sunday’s clash against Premier League leaders Leicester, live on Sky Sports, with Nathaniel Phillips set to start alongside Joel Matip.

Williams had made five appearances for Liverpool so far this season, two in the Carabao Cup and three in the Champions League.

Liverpool’s injuries assessed

Liverpool’s defensive crisis was dealt another blow after Joe Gomez suffered a serious injury on England duty, joining Virgil van Dijk and Fabinho on the treatment table.

To compound the growing injury list, influential right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold also withdrew from international duty with a calf strain sustained during the 1-1 draw at Manchester City – while Andrew Robertson missed Scotland’s 1-0 defeat to Slovakia on Sunday night, in addition to Henderson limping out of England’s defeat in Belgium.

But have Liverpool picked up the most injuries this season? Data compiled by Premier Injuries reveals Jurgen Klopp’s side have picked up 15 injuries lasting 10 days or more this season – only Manchester City have suffered more (16).

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