Trent Alexander-Arnold has established himself as one of the finest young players in world football and has completely revolutionised the role of the modern full-back.

However, despite having conquered the world at club level at just 21-years-old, Alexander-Arnold has found it difficult to convince Gareth Southgate of his England credentials.

England v Belgium - UEFA Nations League - Alexander-Arnold

LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 11: Trent Alexander-Arnold of England during the UEFA Nations League group stage match between England and Belgium at Wembley Stadium on October 11, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. Football Stadiums around Europe remain empty due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in fixtures being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

The West Derby defender started just one of England’s three recent international fixtures and in the one match he did start, against Belgium, he was unable to affect the match similarly to how he does with Liverpool.

Alexander-Arnold is renowned for his on-ball quality and he’s not understood to be particularly strong without it, hence Southgate’s logical move to deploy him as a wing-back at Wembley. This didn’t exactly pay off as England were unable to utilise his talents to the full effect.

Because of this, Alexander-Arnold was overlooked for England’s most recent fixture against Denmark, with Chelsea’s Reece James getting the nod at right-back as opposed to the Liverpool man.

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The Three Lions were beaten in what proved to be a very uninspiring performance from a team that just three days prior, had beaten the highest-ranked international side in world football.

Tweeting after the game, Gary Lineker was bemused that Alexander-Arnold was not an automatic starter when the teams were released on Wednesday night.

The England icon and Match of the Day host claimed the Liverpool superstar is ‘way too good to be on the bench’.

What RTK has to say

Lineker is right, it is utterly ridiculous that a player of Alexander-Arnold’s quality is still very much a questionable figure in this England team.

He has proven over the past two years that he is the Premier League’s most creative weapon having recorded 25 Premier League assists despite playing in defence.

Unfortunately, for Alexander-Arnold, Southgate has incorporated a tactical system that doesn’t allow the team to be as effective when going forward.

Whereas at Liverpool there is a greater onus on the full-backs to get on the ball and build attacks from out-wide, England like to play more progressively in possession. They aren’t as aggressive off the ball which means similar gaps that appear at club level for Alexander-Arnold haven’t seemed to of materialised to the same effect that has seen so much success at Anfield.

However, England’s loss is ultimately Liverpool’s game as having featured less than he might have hoped for, Alexander-Arnold will return with the Reds rested both mentally and physically ahead of the Merseyside derby.

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