Former Red Stan Collymore believes England manager Gareth Southgate should look to one Liverpool player in particular to help strengthen the spine of his team.

England’s defensive frailties were laid bare in the Nations League semi-final against the Netherlands, when mistakes from John Stones and Ross Barkley effectively cost them the game.

And Collymore has identified Liverpool defender Joe Gomez as a potential solution to Southgate’s problems.

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“The biggest question posed for Gareth Southgate over the past week or so surrounds the spine of his England team,” Collymore wrote in his column for the Mirror.

“Namely, is it as strong, or are its constituent parts as strong, as we’d like to believe?”

He continued: “If Joe Gomez does well in pre-season or early next season then I’d love to see the Liverpool youngster get a chance alongside Harry Maguire in the Euro qualifiers against Bulgaria and Kosovo in September.

“The great thing about about Gomez is that he can play at full-back or centrally.

“And if he gets to play alongside Virgil Van Dijk for the Reds then we can guarantee that, sooner rather than later, he’ll be pushing Stones for his place.

“Gomez perhaps isn’t the footballing centre-half that Stones is, but you know he’s not going to be trying Cruyff turns in his own box.

“He’s a good, solid, mobile, footballing defender who would work quite well alongside Maguire.”

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Freelance writer and passionate Liverpool supporter from Northern Ireland. Married to the beautiful Christine. Feel free to get in touch on Twitter - YNWA.

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