Belfast Telegraph

Eamon Dunphy: Liverpool would have won Champions League if they had signed this England ace

And the RTE pundit reckons there's only one team left at the World Cup who can beat the Three Lions

By Gareth Hanna

Eamon Dunphy says Liverpool would be European champions for a sixth time if they had listened to a piece of his transfer advice 12 months ago.

The former Millwall and Republic of Ireland player was speaking as a pundit on RTE's coverage of England's 2-0 World Cup quarter-final victory over Sweden and hailed goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, who has impressed throughout the tournament.

"I said last summer that Liverpool should have signed him. He would have been playing in the Champions League final and Liverpool would have won it if they had signed him," Dunphy said of the 24-year-old Everton star who was sent on six separate loan moves by previous club Sunderland before his career kicked off.

"Going out to all those clubs on loan - some of them aren't even in the league - he's been there, Lingard has been there, Harry Kane has been there.

"For anyone at home playing any sport and you get a knock-back, look at these guys. They've all had knock-backs and it's an inspiring story."

Watching back England's clinching goal; a header from Dele Alli on the end of a Jesse Lingard cross, Dunphy also had plenty of praise for England manager Gareth Southgate and coach Steve Holland.

"If they've worked on that in training then that's credit to them," he said. "Credit to Steve Holland and to Gareth Southgate. This is a serious outfit in getting every inch out of what they've got. That's all you can ask from a manager, from coaches and from players.

"I think the only team that can beat them in Belgium, and I'm not convinced about that. They would certainly beat France. I'm not over-hyping them; I really believe that. I think they'll lose to Belgium in the final but I think they would beat France.

"You can see the believe and confidence. There's no false modesty from Harry Kane and there's no punching the air either. I think they're very well prepared by the people responsible for doing that."

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