MGW called up to the U21s but no full cap yet. Djed and Jim Rockford also get U21 nods.
I made a point of watching TAA tonight, of whom I'm a very big fan as it is. He's constantly on the move, not necessarily running fast, but edging into positions. So when he receives the ball he's practically still, and totally calm. He's so soft on his touch on the ball, and sees what's around him so early....sees the angles, and the weight of pass. Can play it inside or outside of the foot, flighting it to arrive at the man's feet. But he's also good off the ball, tracking runs and pressing the ball. He was completely brilliant...and putting it all together with the ability to hit that pass.
He is for sure a wonderful player with the ball at his feet, but I think that eulogising his play without the ball should probably be reserved for higher quality opposition than North Macedonia because the knock on him to date has been that he struggles defensively, is not great in the tackle, and is easily caught out of position. He's a player slightly without position - he's probably best as the attacking fulcrum of a three man midfield, but then you have to decide if you want to build a team around him.
Isolated one on one he's not great. He defends like a midfielder, going round the sides trying to nick the ball... and he doesn't square his man up well at all.
That's why when he played at right back for Liverpool, Hendo played right side mid to cover inside him. Tiago for Liverpool is certainly no better off the ball than TAA, and the later has all the range of passing and vision. So there are ways to set up and I can see it for club.
For England if you have two centre halves, one of whom is stones, and Walker on the right. With the ball they can all join in, and Walker is quick enough to go, but also get back. Without the ball they could ultimately drop to a three with Walker going narrow. So again, you can set up for it.
The question is, do you want TAA in the eleven? I would. You say he causes a problem defensively - well yes if you set up in a traditional structure.... but his speed of thought and execution also gives you the chance to open up the better sides. Do I want Maguire, Rice, or Walker playing the quarterback passes? I do not. Stones I don't mind. ... but I don't see anyone of the class of TAA to be able to hurt teams over distance regularly
I don't disagree with any of that, although soon you're probably having to perm Rice, Phillips, TAA and Bellingham into a central three and I think there will be plenty of occasions when Trent is the odd man out due to Bellingham's superior threat in and around the box, and the need to have a more solid midfield base. It's probably not a coincidence that TAA looks at his best when another of your favourites Henderson is on the park, because they already have a strong understanding of each others' games and positioning, but I don't think Henderson is going to get much playing time ahead of Rice and Phillips.