“Trent is a super talent” – Southgate certain Alexander-Arnold will take over from England
Posted On March 18, 2021
Trent Alexander-Arnold didn’t make the cut for England despite being one of the few Liverpool players to deliver high standards during the Reds’ poor run.
Gareth Southgate has named a 26-man squad for this month’s World Cup qualifiers against San Marino, Albania and Poland.
Five full-backs were part of the selection, but Alexander-Arnold, winner of the Champions League and the Premier League for the past two years, was not among them, casting doubt on his participation in Euro 2020.
Manchester City’s Kyle Walker, Chelsea’s Reece James and Atletico Madrid’s Kieran Trippier were preferred over Alexander-Arnold at right-back, while left-back Ben Chilwell and Luke Shaw were also selected.
Trippier has just returned from a ban imposed by the Football Association for a violation of the betting rules.
Alexander-Arnold and his Liverpool team-mates have had a tough time in the Premier League since the start of the year, scoring just four wins.
The reigning champions lost eight league games in 2021, although 22-year-old Alexander-Arnold maintained his high performance levels.
Manchester United full-back Shaw is the only defender to create more chances (52) than Alexander-Arnold (47) so far this season, while the Liverpool man ranks first of all players in the competition for passes played in the box (315).
Alexander-Arnold’s accuracy at crosses and corners is 18.81%, down from 21.41 last season and 29.21 in 2018-19.
His efforts this season have culminated in one goal and three assists – he scored 13 goals last season – although Liverpool’s failed strike force has to shoulder much of that responsibility, with only teammate Andrew Robertson and Aaron Cresswell from West Ham (both new). having created bigger chances among Premier League defenders than Alexander-Arnold (eight).
Alexander-Arnold also has an impressive 69.05% success rate, out of a total of 42 attempted tackles, higher than James (68.42) and Walker (65.38), although slightly lower than Trippier’s rate of 69.23% on 39 attempted tackles in La Liga. . Alexander-Arnold had a 61.82% success rate last season, so there has been a marked improvement.
The youngster’s free-kick delivery could also be a failure for England, with Alexander-Arnold creating 21 scoring opportunities from corners or free kicks in the league this season – only four players have managed more in the top flight.
Explaining his decision, Southgate admitted that Alexander-Arnold was “unhappy” to miss out, although he pointed to Matty Cash of Aston Villa and Luke Ayling of Leeds United as examples of the in-depth strength the team possesses. England right-back, while Aaron Wan- Bissaka wasn’t even mentioned.
Wan-Bissaka’s international future is on hold, with reports that the Manchester United defender may choose to represent DR Congo after being consistently overlooked by Southgate, but the England boss has no doubts. Alexander-Arnold’s long-term importance to the Three Lions.
“There are areas of the pitch where we have incredible competition for places,” Southgate said at a press conference.
“Trent was very unhappy. In recent weeks he has definitely taken steps in the right direction. Reece and Trippier have had exceptional seasons. Kyle is in great shape.
“Matty at Aston Villa, Luke at Leeds. It is a remarkable position of strength. What I Said to Trent – I’ve made the same call to Kyle and Kieran in the past, their response was good.
“Trent is a great talent and I’m sure he will play a big role with England in the future. We could be sitting here [for the Euros] and he is with us.