Some of the best performances on the pitch for England U21’s at Goodison Park on Tuesday night were ironically produced by Liverpool players.
The Young Lions saw off Northern Ireland in a 3-0 victory with a stunning Harvey Elliott brace grabbing.
Fellow Reds Tyler Morton and Jarell Quansah also caught the eye in the Euros qualifier.
On his first start for England U21’s, Morton opened the scoring with a great strike, before later delivering smart assist for Elliott. The Liverpool loanee, who is at Hull this season, played the full 90 minutes and looked composed throughout.
Lovely goal from Tyler Morton for England U21’s 🔥 pic.twitter.com/MsHHFpx0Hk
— The Anfield Talk (@TheAnfieldTalk) November 21, 2023
An impressive showing from the 21-year-old saw him dictate the tempo of play, in a performance possessing maturity beyond his years. Manager Lee Carsley was quick to praise the Wallasey born midfielder calling him a ‘top’ talent.
Quansah also played the full game and barely put a foot wrong throughout. Playing centre-half with Everton’s Jarrad Branthwaite for the first time, the young defender was key to a lot of England’s best periods.
Breaking into midfield with the ball, and playing a range of passes, Quansah at times looked like a hybrid of his senior Liverpool teammates Joel Matip and Virgil Van Dijk. Defensively he was excellent too, with the 20-year-old comfortably winning his aerial battles and halting any threats early on.
Jarell Quansah passing vision. 😮💨 pic.twitter.com/gwcg5dBSzT
— Samuel (@SamueILFC) November 21, 2023
Forming an excellent partnership with Branthwaite, who was England’s captain on the night, it looked as though they had played together countless times. Quansah’s ability to read and cover his partner was invaluable in a performance described as ‘outstanding’ by Carsley.
However, both players have come up short of consistent first team action for Liverpool thus far.
Playing in the Championship, Morton is no doubt progressing and performing well, but may well find himself further down the pecking order than he’d wish to be. The Reds had a busy summer window, with a midfield overhaul the highlight.
New signings Dominik Szoboszlai, Ryan Gravenberch, Alexis Mac Allister end even Wataru Endo have all hit the ground running and impressed this season. With Curtis Jones seeing more minutes and Spanish duo Thiago and Stefan Bajcetic still out injured, Jurgen Klopp has a lot of options.
Morton, who still has the world at his feet at 21, is no doubt valued by the club. Last season he was playing at Ewood Park and made 40 appearances for Blackburn. This campaign he has made 10 league appearances for The Tigers so far.
The key for young players of his profile is to be playing games, something his England manager stressed the importance of. If his boyhood Liverpool can’t offer regular action upon returning to the club, would a move benefit the budding talent?
Quansah’s situation is slightly different, with Liverpool opting to keep the prospect at Anfield this season. The Warrington born defender has played nine times for his side this campaign, but his starts have been limited to cup fixtures, bar one domestic clash.
Klopp’s preferred partnership of Van Dijk and Ibrahim Konate looks settled, potentially condemning Quansah to rotation minutes.
Liverpool's Europe League group stage campaign is worth watching for this man alone.
His mentality, temperament, athletic profile, and technical quality suggests nothing other than future success 💎
Jarell Quansah – remember the name. pic.twitter.com/uzZYIizkZO
— EBL (@EBL2017) November 17, 2023
A loan move to Bristol Rovers last January saw the defender play 16 times for the club, gaining valuable experience. As a defensive prospect, minutes are vital for progression, which is something he can learn from Branthwaite.
The Toffees defender has been patient and earnt his stripes on loan at Blackburn and, most recently, PSV Eindhoven. Now seemingly a mainstay in the Everton team, and progressing through his country’s youth setup, Branthwaite is certainly impressing this year.
In what appears to be a breakthrough season, he has caught the eye of clubs such as Manchester United. Perhaps this is something that Quansah can consider, in order to elevate his game to the next level.
After a successful England U21 camp, Quansah and his Liverpool teammates will now be focused on Saturday, with the Reds looking to continue their fine form away at league leaders, Manchester City.