Liverpool defender Joe Gomez has withdrawn from the England squad after sustaining a knee injury, the Football Association has confirmed.
The 23-year-old centre-back suffered the injury in a training session at St George’s Park.
He has pulled out of the squad to face the Republic of Ireland, Belgium and Iceland and returned to his club for further diagnosis.
England boss Gareth Southgate said: “We can’t speculate the exact nature of the injury, it’s not possible until we have seen scans.
“My immediate thoughts are with him because he has had some difficulties with injuries in the past.
“What’s upsetting is he was in a fair bit of pain and there was nobody around him when the injury happened. I don’t see him being involved in the games with us, that’s for sure.
“We are hoping it’s not going to be a long-term one. We just have to wait and see.”
Liverpool released a statement saying that Gomez will “undergo further diagnosis on the issue with Liverpool’s medical team.”
It’s the last thing Jurgen Klopp wanted with Virgil van Dijk missing with a torn ACL.
The Reds have already suffered a defensive injury crisis this season, topped off by Van Dijk‘s absence. The Dutchman will likely be out for the rest of the season with a serious knee injury.
However, Joel Matip has also spent time on the sidelines, meaning Fabinho had dropped back from midfield. But when the Brazilian suffered a hamstring injury, fringe players stepped up.
Nathaniel Phillips – who Liverpool had allowed to leave in the summer – made his Premier League debut against West Ham. Meanwhile, Rhys Williams, 19, has played in the Champions League.
As such, Gomez had become the leader in defence, marshalling his team-mates and news of his injury will be deeply concerning to Klopp and his staff.
Southgate: No alternative for Clarke
Meanwhile, Southgate said there was “no alternative” but for FA chairman Greg Clarke to resign.
Clarke resigned on Tuesday evening after making a series of offensive remarks during an evidence session with MPs on the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee, including using the word “coloured”.
He said: “As he said himself, the terminology he used in a number of areas was not acceptable and doesn’t reflect the view of the FA and what we as a team stand for. I don’t think he had any alternative than take the decision to resign.
“What’s a shame for him is he has done a lot of work behind the scenes to support the diversity code and make inroads into relationships around Europe.
“Unfortunately he is going to be remembered for the comments he made. There is a balance to that as I don’t like to see people suffer so publicly as he has. But what he said wasn’t acceptable and there was no alternative but for him to go.”