Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold is one of five players to have been left out of England’s squad to face Germany on Monday, their last game before the World Cup.
Manager Gareth Southgate has consistently overlooked Alexander-Arnold, with the likes of Kyle Walker, Reece James and Kieran Trippier ahead of him in the pecking order.
And with doubts looming over whether Liverpool’s most creative player will make the Three Lions’ World Cup squad, his omission from the 23-man group to play Germany speaks volumes.
Alexander-Arnold was an unused substitute in England’s 1-0 defeat to Italy on Friday night, their fifth consecutive game without a victory and their third without even scoring a goal.
It’s now been revealed that the 23-year-old is one of five players to miss out on the squad to face Germany, with Sky Sports’ Rob Dorsett revealing that AC Milan’s Fikayo Tomori, Southampton‘s James Ward-Prowse and West Ham‘s Jarrod Bowen have also been omitted. Man City‘s Jack Grealish will also not feature due to suspension.
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.
This year, managers are able to name 26 players in their World Cup squads, as opposed to 23 in previous tournaments, something that may work in Alexander-Arnold’s favour.
But even if he is selected, any actual playing time looks unlikely, with Walker, James and Trippier all clearly ahead of him in the current pecking order.
Southgate was asked about Alexander-Arnold’s capabilities on Sunday, to which he praised his “fantastic range of passing,” before quickly moving onto the attributes James and Trippier can also offer.
The right-back has been criticised for his defensive contributions for Liverpool this season, with the Reds’ back four only keeping two clean sheets since the campaign began last month.
You can only assume that Southgate continues to overlook him due to worries regarding the defensive side of his game.
For Liverpool, Alexander-Arnold’s omission from the squad to play Germany is good news, with the right-back set to return to Merseyside having played no minutes over the international break.
The Reds’ meeting with Brighton on Saturday is the first of 13 games they will play in the next six weeks, before the mid-season break for the World Cup.