Gareth Southgate breaks silence after dropping Trent Alexander-Arnold for England vs Germany
Speaking to Channel 4 before the clash against Germany as quoted by Liverpool Echo, England boss Gareth Southgate has opened up why he chose to omit Liverpool full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold from their final UEFA Nations League game.
Southgate has shown a tendency to prefer other options to Trent in the past. The English manager prefers both Kyle Walker and Reece James to TAA, and although Kieran Trippier can also play as left-back, he is also an option for sure.
Southgate showed his clear preference for his other options when he dropped Trent from England’s entire matchday squad against the Germans. Reece James instead started as the right wing-back in a game that ended 3-3 on the night.
Trent’s performances have received mixed responses in recent times. Whilst his attacking abilities are outright ridiculous for a right-back, he has received a lot of flak for his defensive fragilities.
Much of Liverpool’s poor performance this season has been attributed to Trent’s poor form and there have been calls to drop the talented English international. However, Jurgen Klopp has placed his unwavering trust in the player, which would be a boost for Trent if he wants to prove to England that he is worthy of making the plane that flies to Qatar in November for the FIFA World Cup.
Speaking about Trent, Southgate cited the form of the other options and the amount of quality he has available in that position. In all fairness, Trent has been very poor at times in defence this season.
“”We’ve got four right-backs who are super quality. At the moment, Kieran Trippier is playing exceptionally well and Reece James has been one of the outstanding players in the Premier League at the start of the season.”
“But we know Trent is a very, very good footballer and that’s why we’ve picked him in the squad”
There have been calls for the talented English full-back to be tried in midfield but it remains to be seen if Southgate takes this punt so close to the World Cup. Regardless, this could always be an option.
Trent’s career right now is quite at crossroads. It remains to be seen which path it takes from here on and this World Cup could be a defining period for Trent.
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Perhaps this would be a good reminder for him that he cannot take his place in the team for granted, especially at the international level. Even for the Reds, there have been games where Klopp has uncharacteristically substituted Trent before the full-time whistle.