Trent Alexander-Arnold has been left out of England’s squad to face Germany on Monday, and one journalist believes Gareth Southgate’s latest comments prove he “does not believe” in the Liverpool right-back.
The 23-year-old is one of five players to have been omitted from England’s final matchday squad before the World Cup.
Alexander-Arnold, though, has been overlooked at international level for some time, with the likes of Kyle Walker, Reece James and Kieran Trippier clearly ahead of him in Southgate’s pecking order.
Prior to the news about the Liverpool no. 66’s latest international snub, Southgate was asked about Alexander-Arnold’s capabilities in his latest press conference.
The England manager was quick to praise his passing range, but quickly moved onto the attributes his other right-backs possess.
“I think he’s a fantastic footballer and he of course adds, as a lot of the other players do, different qualities to the game,” Southgate told reporters.
“He does have a fantastic range of passing. We’re blessed with different profiles of player in that position.
“If we play with wing-backs, Trippier and Reece James are also exceptional with the ball, in different ways, and we’re always having to look at the full package with everything and assess the players on all of their attributes.
“They’ve all been to Champions League finals, some of them have been to the latter stages of major tournaments with us. Trent’s won the league, Trippier’s won the Spanish league, Walker’s won the English league.
“There are so many good attributes about them, it’s a really difficult position to make decisions on, but we have to go with the ones we believe, and ultimately I’ll be judged on the outcome, as we know.”
When asked about Trent Alexander-Arnold, Southgate praised him – "fantastic range of passing" – and immediately mentioned others. "Trippier and James are also exceptional with the ball, in different ways." Sadly, Southgate clearly does not believe in Alexander-Arnold #ENG #LFC
— Henry Winter (@henrywinter) September 26, 2022
The Times‘ Henry Winter believes Southgate’s latest comments, and his reluctance to dwell on the qualities Alexander-Arnold can bring to his side, show the England boss “does not believe” in the Liverpool defender.
Despite his insistence that Alexander-Arnold is “a fantastic footballer,” Southgate’s decision to not include him in his side’s final match before the World Cup speaks volumes.
If Alexander-Arnold, a player who has registered 66 assists in his six years as a Liverpool player, can’t make the squad at a time when England are struggling to score goals and create chances, then the writing appears to be on the wall.
Nonetheless, England’s loss is certainly Liverpool’s gain.