This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Lee Dixon described Trent Alexander-Arnold as England’s best right-back as part of ITV’s coverage of their Euro 2020 qualifier against Kosovo, via The Daily Express.
The Liverpool right-back earned his seventh England cap as the Three Lions won 5-3 but it was not a performance to remember, as he was caught out of position for the second goal conceded.
As a result, he will need to improve significantly if he is to do enough to earn the spot as Gareth’s Southgate’s first choice, with the experienced Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier pushing for a place alongside Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who withdrew from the current squad through injury.
Despite that, the former Arsenal right-back likes what he sees in the 20-year-old, and believes he should be first-choice for the Three Lions.
Speaking on ITV, as reported by The Express, he said: “I think in the squad these two [Alexander-Arnold and Chilwell] are the best for me.
“Alexander-Arnold, his season last year was phenomenal going forward, he’s learning the game defensively.”
It was Alexander-Arnold’s thirst to get forward which left him out of position for Kosovo’s second goal, but if he can work on that aspect of his game, as Dixon suggests, then he may do enough to become a permanent fixture in Southgate’s side.
There is no doubting the strength in depth of England’s right-backs currently. Three of the four play for top-six sides, while Trippier plays for one of the best teams in Spain – Atletico Madrid.
Alexander-Arnold is still yet to show his best form at international level and with Euro 2020 not too far away his manager may opt for a more experienced option in Walker or Trippier, though their form this season will also influence that decision.
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It will be a confidence boost for the Liverpool man to hear such praise, however, particularly from a right-back who was successful in his playing days.
If it gives him a lift that could work in the Reds’ favour, as he will be looking to add to his two assists in six appearances so far this term, although his performance against Kosovo showed he isn’t lacking in confidence, with four crosses attempted as well as a free-kick from distance.