Liverpool are reportedly shocked at Gareth Southgate’s decision to snub Trent Alexander-Arnold from his latest England squad.
According to The Athletic, Liverpool gave Alexander-Arnold some time off this week in anticipation of his involvement for England in their upcoming matches.
The report claims that the squad announcement, with Reece James and Kieran Trippier ahead of Alexander-Arnold, was met with bemusement inside the Liverpool camp, as Jurgen Klopp believes he has been one of the club’s best performers in 2021.
ANFIELD WATCH VERDICT
When the news first broke earlier, we analysed the performances this season of England’s right-back options and Southgate’s decision was merited by the statistics. Trippier and James, on paper, have performed at a higher level than Alexander-Arnold at club level this season and that could be why Southgate has made the decision to drop him, as much as it has shocked Liverpool.
However, football is not always about current form or even the statistics. Ignoring the stats sheet for a second, Alexander-Arnold has looked a different player in recent weeks after appearing mentally and physically fatigued earlier in the campaign, which is to be expected after suffering through a global pandemic and then playing in an injury-riddled Liverpool side.
Alexander-Arnold has been in the PFA Team of the Year the past two seasons, suggesting that he is the best right-back in the Premier League. This suggests that he should also be the best option at right-back for England going forward and a small blip in form should not be enough to displace him from the squad. Hopefully, he still makes the European Championships in the summer and this break is being used as Southgate to assess other options.
I’m a 22-year-old football writer from Lowestoft. I produce, edit, and publish articles for Anfield Watch full-time.