Gareth Southgate has confirmed that he has dropped Trent Alexander-Arnold from the England squad due to his below-par form this season.
The Liverpool right-back has been one of many Reds stars to struggle in the 2020/21 campaign, with Jurgen Klopp’s side currently down in sixth place in the table and having failed to put together a worthy title defence.
Injuries to the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez haven’t helped with that, and in turn Alexander-Arnold has seen his own form suffer.
Southgate says that the right-back does remain in his plans ahead of the summer’s European Championships, but he has decided to leave him out for the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers against Albania, San Marino and Poland.
“I don’t think he’s played at the level he’s been at during the last few years,” said Southgate at his press conference.
“He’s a big talent and I’m sure he will play a big role for England in the future.”
Southgate has recalled Jesse Lingard to the squad after the Manchester United midfielder showed impressive form on loan at West Ham, while there is a first call-up for Aston Villa forward Ollie Watkins.
The ex-Brentford star has pipped Leeds forward Patrick Bamford to a place in the squad, with Southgate confirming it was a close call.
“Both Ollie & Patrick’s goals records have been good,” he said.
Is it the right decision to drop Trent? Have your say in the comments section
“We like the personalities of both.
“We like Ollie’s pressing, speed & runs in behind.
“For his first season in the Premier League at a big club, he’s done exceptionally well.”
Goalkeepers: Nick Pope, Dean Henderson, Sam Johnstone
Defenders: Ben Chilwell, Conor Coady, Eric Dier, Reece James, Harry Maguire, Tyrone Mings, Luke Shaw, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker
Midfielders: Jude Bellingham. Phil Foden, Jesse Lingard, Mason Mount, Kalvin Phillips, Declan Rice, James Ward-Prowse
Forwards: Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Harry Kane), Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka, Raheem Sterling, Ollie Watkins