Trent Alexander-Arnold doubtful for Euro 2020 after limping off against Austria

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Trent Alexander-Arnold looks a doubt for the Euros after limping off towards the end of the warm-up friendly win against Austria with a thigh injury that Gareth Southgate admitted did not look good.

Playing in front of supporters for the first time in 18 months, the Three Lions got their Euro 2020 preparations off to a winning start against Austria at the Riverside Stadium in Middlesbrough.

England rode their luck at times but 19-year-old Bukayo Saka’s first international goal was enough to secure a 1-0 victory against fellow Euro finalists Austria on a night that ended with Alexander-Arnold hobbling off.

England v Austria – International Friendly – Riverside Stadium
Jack Grealish was taken off before the end of England’s win as a precaution (Lindsey Parnaby/PA)

With his selection in Southgate’s 26-man group one of the main talking points before the match, the 22-year-old – one of four right-backs in the squad – will remain in the spotlight after picking up a late injury.

“It looks like thigh (injury) but we don’t know the extent at the moment,” the England manager said.

“Clearly it’s not a good sign that he had to walk off and looked in some discomfort with it, but we’ll know more in the next 24-48 hours.”

Southgate downplayed concerns over Jack Grealish, who only recently returned from a shin issue and was taken off in the second half.

England v Austria – International Friendly – Riverside Stadium
Jordan Henderson did not get off the bench on his England return (Lindsey Parnaby/PA)

Jordan Henderson had been due to play his first minutes for club or country since undergoing groin surgery in February, but the Liverpool captain remained on the bench against Austria.

“With Jack, we just felt that that was enough time,” Southgate said.

“I think you can see still a little bit of sharpness still coming and we didn’t want to overplay him through that period.

“With Jordan, we had hoped to involve him today. That was the original plan. This morning he wasn’t so happy with how he felt.

“We’ve scanned him just to be certain. There’s no problem on the scan so he’ll be able to resume training but we’ve taken a decision to leave him out of this game.”

England v Austria – International Friendly – Riverside Stadium
Gareth Southgate was impressed by Bukayo Saka (Lindsey Parnaby/PA)

Wednesday’s line-up is likely to be very different to the one that starts against Croatia on June 13, given Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea players were all unavailable following their European final exertions.

But the likes of Saka and Jude Bellingham, who made his first Three Lions start aged just 17, impressed on an evening that ended with Austria on top.

“I thought they were both excellent,” England manager Southgate said of the teenage duo. “They were as they’ve been since they’ve walked through the door, really, with us.

“Both in training and in the matches, they’ve played with confidence, they’ve played with freedom, they’ve played with maturity.

“I thought Bukayo right from the start linked the game really well, he received well on the line, he received well inside.

England v Austria – International Friendly – Riverside Stadium
Jude Bellingham impressed on his first start for England (Lindsey Parnaby/PA)

“He’s got a lovely ability to receive in that traffic in the middle of the field. It’s like a slippery eel getting away from those challenges. I thought his all-round game (was good) and he works defensively well for the team. Really pleased with him and for him to get the goal.

“And Jude, you can’t help but marvel at the performance of a boy that age, really. It’s a bit disrespectful (to call him a boy). He’s a boy because he’s 17, but he’s not a boy, is he? He plays like a man.

“I would just say that he’s still, of course, learning the understanding. He’s probably running more than he needs to if anything. He got cramp towards the end.

“That efficiency that he can still learn but his ability to receive under pressure, his calmness on the ball, he competes, he wants to compete.

“Even in training sessions with us right from the start, he didn’t hold back and look at the senior players. He’s in there and he should be really proud of his first start.”

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