Liverpool would certainly benefit if Trent Alexander-Arnold was an England regular.
The right-back sat on the bench against Bulgaria as Keiran Trippier played his position. Although, according to the Times, Alexander-Arnold should start against Kosovo.
The same paper claims Gareth Southgate opted for Trippier because he wanted him to sacrifice himself offensively for the game. That’s perhaps understandable – Alexander-Arnold is a very attacking full-back, after all.
But Liverpool, England and Alexander-Arnold should hope that the 20-year-old becomes a regular – he’ll develop better.
There’s little doubt that he’s the best right-back in the country already. He was part of the best defence in the country last season, while breaking the record for assists by a defender at the same time. Alexander-Arnold notched up 13 assists last season – joint-third most in the Premier League.
It’s about time, however, that he held an aura as one of the best around. You can see at Liverpool how much that helps a player grow – just look at the strides made by Virgil van Dijk or Mohamed Salah once they caught fire. They’ve firmly establishedthemselves as world-beaters and there’s no going back.
But it happens with every player. Once you’re considered to be one of the best, the confidence only improves your game. It brings about respect from opponents and adds another layer to your development.
Alexander-Arnold will struggle to command that respect and grow from that confidence if he’s not in the England team, though. He should be – he’s the best they’ve got in his position – but until he is, he’ll still be considered a level below those at the top.
And perhaps it’s time to change that.