Brendan Rodgers wants Liverpool quartet to emulate Juan Mata

Liverpool's Brendan Rodgers hopes his quartet of young stars playing at Under-21 European championship can emulate Juan Mata

juan mata
Juan Mata won the Under-21 European championship with Spain in 2011 The Sport Review

Brendan Rodgers wants Liverpool’s representatives in England’s Under-21 squad for the European championship to emulate Chelsea star Juan Mata.

Jordan Henderson, Jack Robinson, Jonjo Shelvey and Andre Wisdom have all been included in Stuart Pearce’s 23-man travelling party for the tournament in Israel next month.

Mata, 25, was a key member of the Spain side who won the competition in 2011 before he joined Chelsea and won the Champions League, Europa League and FA Cup with the Blues.

And Rodgers hopes the Liverpool quartet can also reap the benefits of playing in a major tournament.

“It’s great for Jordan, Jonjo, Andre and Jack to be part of it,” Rodgers said. “I always think going to big championships like that is great for their learning.

“Look at someone like Juan Mata. Two years ago he dropped down from the senior Spain squad to the U21s and helped them win the tournament.

“A year later he was part of the team who won Euro 2012 and then last summer he went off to the Olympics. This season he’s gone on and played more than 60 games.

“Major tournaments can be really beneficial in terms of helping players in their development. I am sure if our four players get that experience this summer then they will come back to us as better players.”

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