Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold is not expected to receive a call-up to Gareth Southgate’s England squad for Euro 2020 despite a string of improved performances.
The 22-year-old full-back was surprisingly left out of the last Three Lions squad back in March for the World Cup qualifiers against San Marino, Albania and Poland after struggling for form at Anfield.
However, with UEFA announcing that the permitted squad sizes have been increased from 23 players to 26 for this summer’s tournament, many expected the youngster to earn a recall.
Southgate has a plethora of options at right-back, though, with the likes of Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier and Reece James all competing for a place in Southgate’s selection, and it appears as though Alexander-Arnold is going to be the one to miss out.
According to The Athletic, there has been no contact between Jurgen Klopp’s side and the national team setup, and with Southgate set to announce his squad on Tuesday, time is running out for the Liverpool man.
The news will come as a shock to the club’s supporters, who are likely to be gutted to see one of their homegrown talents miss out on a major tournament. Whilst they’ll know it might be good from a club point of view to have Alexander-Arnold fully rested, they’ll also understand that the right-back will be keen to play at the tournament, and will rightly be upset on his behalf.
Centre-back Joe Gomez has already been ruled out through injury, while Jordan Henderson may be set to play a bit-part role due to his own fitness concerns.
It’s Alexander-Arnold’s potential exclusion that will cause the most uproar among the Merseyside outfit’s fanbase, though.
Over the last few seasons, the Liverpool academy graduate has showcased his top-class quality on multiple occasions, proving to be a vital cog in an all-conquering side, earning praise from several pundits.
Gary Neville lauded the youngster last year for his crossing ability after setting up two goals in a 3-2 win over West Ham United.
“What staggers me is they don’t have two big strikers to hit with loads of headers, but Mane and Salah score headers because the quality is that good,” Neville explained.
“If the quality is that good and the speed of the run, you are going to get chances, the quality [from Trent] is out of this world.”
It’s been a struggle for Alexander-Arnold to replicate that level of performance at times in 2020/21, but since he was left out of the international side in March, Liverpool’s No.66 has been in magnificent form.
Fine performances against Manchester United, Burnley and Leeds were standout displays, and four assists and one goal in his last nine Premier League games of the campaign indicate he’s back to his best.
Nevertheless, Alexander-Arnold’s purple patch appears to have come too late for Southgate, and a place in England’s European Championship squad is unlikely to occur.