England manager Gareth Southgate has confirmed that he has dropped Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold due to his form at club level.
Chelsea’s Reece James, Atletico Madrid’s Kieran Trippier and Manchester City’s Kyle Walker have all been selected ahead of Alexander-Arnold in the right-back position.
Southgate confirms he has dropped Trent Alexander-Arnold.
"I don't think he's played at the level he's been at during the last few years. He’s a big talent and I’m sure he will play a big role for England in the future.”
Ridiculous decision but good news for #LFC
— James Pearce (@JamesPearceLFC) March 18, 2021
ANFIELD WATCH VERDICT
Walker is an understandable selection by Southgate as he is capable of playing in multiple positions and can offer Southgate tactical flexibility by playing at right-back, centre-back or left-back. This means that Southgate has been able to fill out several roles by selecting him in the squad and Alexander-Arnold should have no complaints at the Manchester City man being in ahead of him.
Trippier and James, however, are slightly different prospects as you could consider them like-for-like right-back options, although the former has been able to play left-back in the past. So, has Alexander-Arnold performed well enough to be selected ahead of both of them in the squad?
Defensively, Trippier and James have both outperformed Alexander-Arnold at club level this season. They both better Alexander-Arnold in terms of duels won, aerial battle success rate, ground duel success rate, tackles made and clearances per 90. Tripper has an Opta Performance Index rating of 4.5, whilst James’ is 3.5 and Alexander-Arnold’s is down at 2.6 this season.
However, Alexander-Arnold shines offensively in comparison to the other two. He averages more chances created and forward passes completed per 90, showing that he is able to offer greater quality in the final third as a fullback than Trippier and James. This comes after Alexander-Arnold has been named in the PFA Team of the Year in each of the past two Premier League seasons.
Alexander-Arnold now needs to use this rejection to fuel his performances between now and the end of the season for Liverpool. If he can up his levels and outperform James and Trippier across the board then he could break back into the squad in time for the European Championships.
I’m a 22-year-old football writer from Lowestoft. I produce, edit, and publish articles for Anfield Watch full-time.