Gareth Southgate’s 23-man England squad for the World Cup was near enough how most people predicted it would be.
There were a few slight surprises, with the omission of Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere perhaps being the most prominent.
However, given the fact that he’s struggled to perform for the Gunners since the turn of the year, Manchester City’s Fabian Delph is probably a more reliable and more versatile option for Russia.
The midfield area was probably the most debated section of the squad leading up to the announcement, with a fair few names being chucked around as potential inclusions.
After the injury to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, the likes of Jonjo Shelvey, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Adam Lallana would have all fancied their chances of making it.
Loftus-Cheek got the call, with Lallana’s omission rather sad given that he was easily England’s best player at Euro 2016 – although that wasn’t hard.
And the way Southgate has spoken about Lallana after the announcement shows just how highly he thinks of him, but injuries just got in the way.
The Three Lions boss also stated that he has had many long conversations with Jurgen Klopp about Lallana, with the Liverpool boss having a serious influence over his decision.
“I’ve had continual dialogue with Adam throughout the season. It’s been a really frustrating season for him,” Southgate said.
“Under normal circumstances, given the amount of football he has played, he wouldn’t be anywhere near the squad or the standby list, but he’s a player and a person we have a hell of a lot of time for.
“Maybe giving him another 10 days, maybe he has a big impact in the Champions League final, we have an issue and he can be part of what we want to do.
“The reality of the conversations I’ve had with him are that to find the level of performance on the back of the limited minutes he’s had would be really difficult. History tells us you don’t tend to find your level of fitness and your rhythm within a major tournament but I’d like to give him the opportunity to do that.
“He completely understands that. I’ve had long conversations with Jurgen about that and he also believes that’s the best route to go. I hope he gets the opportunity with Liverpool and we wish them all the best with their final.”
Fair play to Klopp for not hiding from the fact that Lallana’s match fitness is simply not up to scratch for a major tournament.
Fingers crossed the Liverpool midfielder shakes off his injury woes and forces his way into Southgate’s plans for Euro 2020.