England World Cup squad: Gareth Southgate reveals why he picked Trent Alexander-Arnold
England have named their 23-man squad for the World Cup in Russia as Southgate targets glory in his first major tournament at the helm.
The Three Lions boss has made several surprising calls, with the decision to include Liverpool defender Alexander-Arnold among them.
The 19-year-old has enjoyed a terrific season for the Reds and may start the Champions League final against Real Madrid later this month.
And Southgate has praised the Liverpool star, saying he deserves his place in the England squad.
“The first call-up for Trent Alexander-Arnold is well deserved,” he said.
“When we pick young players, it’s not just because they are young, it’s because their performances deserve it.”
England’s decision to hand the Liverpool star a call-up is a huge shock.
Southgate has also been bold when it has come to other areas of his squad.
There is no room for Joe Hart, who was last night told he would be missing out with Nick Pope instead getting the nod.
Jack Wilshere is another who will have to watch the World Cup from home.
And Southgate has also opened up on his thinking, believing he now has the perfect blend of players at his disposal.
“I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about,” he said.
“It is a young group, but with some really important senior players so I feel the balance of the squad is good, both in terms of its experience, its character and also the positional balance.
“We have a lot of energy and athleticism in the team, but players that are equally comfortable in possession of the ball and I think people can see the style of play we’ve been looking to develop.
“The selection process has been over months really, it’s not just been the last few weeks. We feel the team are improving and we want to continue that momentum.