According to the Athletic (subscription required), Liverpool were shocked and confused by Gareth Southgate’s decision to remove Trent Alexander-Arnold from the England squad for the next break.
Athletic report that the 22-year-old was left ‘devastated’ by the snub from the 26-man Three Lions squad ahead of a triple header in the World Cup playoffs.
It is added that the right-back, who walks past Chelsea ace Reece James and Atletico Madrid star Kieran Trippier, spoke to Southgate on the phone ahead of today’s squad announcement. ‘hui.
Liverpool were clearly shocked by the decision, as they made a specific pick over Alexander-Arnold this week with the international break in mind.
Athletic add that the phenomenal passer and cruiser was one of the Liverpool players to be given time this week, with the assumption that Alexander-Arnold would be featured for England.
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Here’s what Southgate had to say about it during the announcement press conference:
“Trent is of course a great talent. I am sure he will play a big role with England in the future. He’s missing this time, but we could very well be sitting here before the summer and he’s with us.
“Trent is very unhappy, but I don’t think he’s played at the level he’s found in the past two years.
“He’s getting closer now. Over the past few weeks he has definitely taken steps in the right direction.
“We just think Reece James and Kieran Trippier have had exceptional seasons with their clubs and that Kyle Walker is in great shape with Manchester City.”
Alexander-Arnold endured a tough season with Jurgen Klopp’s men looking a long way from their best defense this quarter, even before losing Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez to long-term injuries.
Southgate’s decision is certainly surprising given that Alexander-Arnold has improved recently as the Confident Tripper is only coming back from a suspension due to a betting violation.