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Liverpool fans furious with Gareth Southgate as shock England U-turn divides opinion

Liverpool fans furious with Gareth Southgate as shock England U-turn divides opinion

Kobbie Mainoo has received his first call-up to England's senior squad.

Liverpool fans have voiced their anger with Gareth Southgate after a shock U-turn from the England manager.

Southgate stunned fans by calling up Manchester United midfielder Kobbie Mainoo on Tuesday for England's upcoming friendlies against Brazil and Belgium.

It was a remarkable change of decision from Southgate, who only days earlier had left Mainoo out of his initial squad for the two games.

Mainoo was instead named in England's under-21 squad to face Azerbaijan and Luxembourg.

Speaking after that initial decision, Southgate said: "I think that he's doing brilliantly for a young player and we're never slow to put a young player into seniors. But he's only had a handful of games and you have to be very careful development-wise in making those decisions at the right time.

"So we think ideally, we should allow him that space to develop at his own speed. He's not at the point in terms of number of games that Jude (Bellingham) and Bukayo (Saka) were when they came in for the first time.

"But I repeat: he's doing really well for a young player. He's a good footballer — you can see that. And he's getting some fabulous experience with Manchester United at the moment. And he looks a really good character."

Mainoo's performance in United's FA Cup quarter-final win over Liverpool on Sunday has seemingly convinced Southgate to change his mind.

But the decision to call up the 18-year-old has divided opinion, with Liverpool supporters particularly incensed on social media.

"Mainoo getting a call up before Harvey Elliott is comical," said one angry fan on X.

"I feel for Harvey Elliott. He deserved a call up, has waited so patiently too," said another fan.

While a third added: "Unless Mainoo is replacing a player who has pulled out of the squad I think this makes Southgate look very weak and indecisive. Didn't want to call him up a few days ago!"

Mainoo is also eligible to play international football for Ghana through his parents but could now make his senior debut for England when they face Brazil at Wembley on Saturday.

Featured Image Credit: Getty & Twitter/England

Topics: England, FA Cup, Gareth Southgate, Harvey Elliott, Kobbie Mainoo, Liverpool, Manchester United, Fan Reactions