Jurgen Klopp has hailed “world class” Trent Alexander-Arnold’s contribution in the decisive moment for Liverpool to set up goalkeeper Alisson for his late winner against West Brom on Sunday.
The Reds’ full-back delivered an expert corner right onto the unmarked Alisson’s head at the death to seal a 2-1 victory and keep their top four charge on course.
It was another important moment from the defender, who has been on top form since being dropped from the England squad back in March with Euro 2020 only round the corner.
And there was little to disguise the clear message to Three Lions’ boss Gareth Southgate underpinning Klopp’s latest praise: that he’d be a fool to leave him out.
“This was a world-class corner from Trent, not the first or last,” Klopp said at a press conference on Tuesday. “[Nat] Phillips could have scored, Sadio [Mane] was in position too. We shouldn’t take that for granted.
“World-class players in decisive moments can deliver an average set-piece because of pressure. His corner made it.”
It’s that star quality to perform in pressure situations which will prove vital to Southgate’s team at this summer’s tournament, but reports have suggested he still intends to leave Alexander-Arnold out of his squad despite UEFA increasing its size to 26 players.
England do have a wealth of options at their disposal, including Man City’s Kyle Walker, Atletico Madrid’s Kieran Trippier and Chelsea’s Reece James, but Alexander-Arnold is widely considered the best of the bunch.
Southgate’s gripe with the Liverpool star appears to be his defensive weaknesses, which are often outweighed for his club due to his prominence going forward.
But Klopp insists his player has made big strides on the pitch this season, particularly under difficult circumstances.
“Trent’s had a good season. He had 20 odd different CB partners. So he has a bigger influence on organising,” Klopp added. “A world-class talent to an organiser is a big step but he did. In a good moment, long may it continue.”