LONDON, ENGLAND - Thursday, October 8, 2020: England's Trent Alexander-Arnold, wearing a face mask, before the International Friendly match between England and Wales at Wembley Stadium. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK Government’s social distancing laws prohibiting supporters from attending events inside stadiums as a result of the Coronavirus Pandemic. England won 3-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Trent Alexander-Arnold not out of World Cup plans, insists Gareth Southgate

Despite omitting Trent Alexander-Arnold from England’s final game before the World Cup, Gareth Southgate insists the right-back is not out of his plans.

Southgate sparked headlines on Monday morning when it emerged that Alexander-Arnold had been left out of his 23-man squad to take on Germany at Wembley.

The right-back had gone unused throughout the 1-0 defeat to Italy three days previous, and his absence from the matchday group has led many to believe he will not head to the World Cup in Qatar.

There is still a convincing case to believe that he won’t make the plane, with Southgate seemingly preferring Kieran Trippier, Reece James and Kyle Walker, but the England manager has denied he is out of the running.

“We’ve got a big squad with us and we’ve got four right-backs who are super quality,” he told Channel 4 before the 3-3 draw on Monday.

“At the moment, Keiran Trippier is playing exceptionally well and Reece James has been one of the outstanding players in the league at the start of the season.

“But we know Trent is a very, very good footballer and that’s why we’ve picked him in the squad.”

Alexander-Arnold was not the only player to be cut from one game and watch from the bench for another, with Ivan Toney, Ben Chilwell, Marc Guehi, Fikayo Tomori, Jarrod Bowen and James Ward-Prowse in the same situation.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Friday, November 12, 2021: England's Trent Alexander­-Arnold during the pre-match warm-up before the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Qualifying Group I match between England and Albania at Wembley Stadium. England won 5-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

A total of 16 players featured over the two ties, which served as the final warmup before the World Cup, while five others – Trippier, Aaron Ramsdale, Dean Henderson, Conor Coady and Tammy Abraham – were unused substitutes for both games.

“We’ve got lots of good players on the bench, but we thought tonight we wanted to move the bench around a little bit,” Southgate continued.

“Because I didn’t want players sat in the stands for two games on the spin.

“We took a big group, which has been great on the training ground and working with the players, and we wanted to keep them all involved, basically.”

With a 26-man squad to be named for the World Cup in November, there is still scope for Alexander-Arnold to be included, but with James starting against both Italy and Germany, his place is in no way assured.