Andy Carroll has been named in a 40-man provisional England squad for this summer’s European U21 Championships. Carroll is 22 but is eligible because he was underage at the start of the year when qualification began. The squad will be reduced to 23 by June 1 before the competition is staged in Denmark between June 11-25.
There has been a lot of debate as to whether it is a good thing for Carroll to play for England this summer from a Liverpool perspective. Carroll had a delay is starting his Liverpool career after he was signed from Newcastle in January as he was carrying an injury. Carroll worked hard on his fitness and was now in the Liverpool team until recently when he suffered a knee injury which has kept him out of action. Carroll made his return back into the Liverpool team this past weekend as he continues to work on his fitness.
The fear now is that with Carroll not being fully fit, is it a good thing that he goes off and plays for England in the summer? I believe it will be great for Carroll to play in the tournament this summer as he missed quite a bit of football this season following his injury at Newcastle. Every football player wants to play games and ultimately wants to represent their country. Carroll should not be denied the opportunity to play for England if he is selected. The extra games this summer could potentially make him sharper and start next season in fine form. Not to mention the experience Carroll can gain from playing in such a tournament.
In the past, these Under 21 tournaments have benefited nations in the long run. Just look at the Spanish Under 21 team which comprised the likes of Xavi and Iniesta, that team went on to win the World Cup now after doing well as Under 21’s. The same can be said of the Holland Under 21’s who formed the bulk of the Holland team that reached last years World Cup final.
Luis Suarez will also be playing this summer for Uruguay in the Copa America, that means that our two star strikers will not have a full rest this summer. This could mean that we start next season with two jaded and tired strikers thus it is imperative that Liverpool go out and buy another top striker this season just in-case either Suarez or Carroll get injured playing for their country.