England World Cup squad: Gareth Southgate on surprise Trent Alexander-Arnold decision
There weren’t many surprises from Southgate’s England squad announcement yesterday for the World Cup.
But one that caught the eye of many was the inclusion of Alexander-Arnold, who is yet to be capped at senior level.
The 19-year-old has enjoyed a breakthrough season at right-back for Liverpool, filling in for the injured Nathaniel Clyne.
But his performances have now made him one of the first names on the team sheet for Jurgen Klopp’s starting line-up.
England aren’t shy of options at right-back with both Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier also in the England squad.
However, when asked why he included Alexander-Arnold in the England squad, Southgate said: “Because he’s the next best English full-back in the league.
“His performances have been excellent. He’s shown in games of real pressure the personality and the ability to cope with that and excel.
“He’s had an extended run in a team where expectation and pressure is high. I don’t know but it looks as though we’ll be playing in a Champions League final.
“He’s a player I know. I went to America with him two or three years ago with our under-17s. He trained with us last month.
“There are some other younger players that aren’t quite ready to be with us but he’s ticked all the criteria that we feel we need and it’s a great moment for him. Really pleased for him.”