Gareth Southgate says Trent Alexander-Arnold ‘isn’t at the same level as last two years’ after Liverpool man is left out of latest England squad as Reece James, Kieran Trippier and Kyle Walker get nod at right-back
- Gareth Southgate has named England squad for World Cup qualifiers next week
- Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold was a surprise omission from 26-man squad
- Reece James, Kieran Trippier and Kyle Walker picked in right-back position
- Southgate explained his decision was made on Alexander-Arnold’s form of late
- England manager said defender hasn’t achieved the heights of last two years
Gareth Southgate confirmed that Trent Alexander-Arnold’s omission from the latest England squad is solely down to his form for Liverpool.
Right-back Alexander-Arnold wasn’t named in the 26-man Three Lions squad for the trio of World Cup qualifiers against San Marino, Albania and Poland later this month.
Explaining the decision to leave Alexander-Arnold out and select Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker and Reece James in the position instead, Southgate said the 22-year-old’s form hadn’t reached the heights of recent seasons.
Gareth Southgate left Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold out of his latest England squad
The England manager said Alexander-Arnold’s Liverpool form hadn’t been as good this season as in the past couple of years
‘In some areas of the pitch we have incredible competition for places,’ Southgate said.
‘I don’t think he has played to the level he found in the last couple of years but I think he is getting close to that now. He has taken steps in the right direction.
‘I have made that same call to Kyle [Walker] and Kieran [Trippier] in the past and their response was a good one.
‘I am certain Trent will play a big part in the future.’
Alexander-Arnold, who has been capped 12 times for England, has contributed one goal and five assists in 34 Liverpool appearances across all competitions this season.
The right-back celebrates scoring for England in their 2018 friendly with the United States
Jurgen Klopp’s side have seen their title defence implode in recent weeks following a dreadful run of just two Premier League wins in their last eight games.
Alexander-Arnold’s returns have certainly diminished on the previous two seasons.
In 2018-19, which ended with Liverpool winning the Champions League, Alexander-Arnold set up 16 goals in 40 appearances.
Last season, which saw Liverpool ending their 30-year wait for a league title, he claimed 15 assists in all competitions.
Alexander-Arnold’s two week rest will no doubt delight Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp
Southgate handed Alexander-Arnold his first senior cap against Costa Rica in a friendly match just prior to the 2018 World Cup.
He last played for the Three Lions in the 2-1 win over Belgium at Wembley in the UEFA Nations League last October.
A calf injury kept him out of England’s last set of internationals in November.
England squad in full
Goalkeepers: Dean Henderson (Manchester United), Sam Johnstone (West Bromwich Albion), Nick Pope (Burnley)
Defenders: Ben Chilwell (Chelsea), Conor Coady (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Reece James (Chelsea), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Atletico Madrid), Kyle Walker (Manchester City)
Midfielders: Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Jesse Lingard (West Ham United, loan from Manchester United), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Kalvin Phillips (Leeds United), Declan Rice (West Ham United), James Ward-Prowse (Southampton)
Forwards: Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa)