Trent Alexander-Arnold could be set to miss out on this summer’s European Championships, according to Jack Pitt-Brooke.
Speaking on the Ornstein & Chapman Podcast, The Athletic’s Tottenham Hotspur reporter explained that Southgate is unlikely to have omitted Alexander-Arnold if he planned to select him for the Euros.
Pit-Brooke said the decision not to select the Liverpool right back was “mad” and compared it to when England’s national cricket team failed to select Ben Stokes for the 2015 Cricket World Cup.
“It wouldn’t make any sense to not pick him [Trent] if you’re not going to pick him for the Euros,” he said.
“This is the last meet up before the end of the season. This is the time to really finesse and fine-tune the team in preparation for the start of the Euros.
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“Now is the time to get your team gelling. So, the idea that you can’t pick him because he’s playing badly but could come back in June doesn’t really seem plausible.
“Anything is possible. My assumption right now, though, is that Alexander-Arnold will not be in the squad. I think it’s mad.
“It’s like when England didn’t take Ben Stokes to the 2015 Cricket World Cup because he wasn’t playing well. In a sense, it doesn’t matter because when you’ve got the best of a generation young talent, you take them regardless of whether they have been poor.”
Alexander-Arnold’s limited England impact has been one of the more disappointing stories of his illustrious career so far – and it feels that the player himself has been completely powerless to turn things around.
The 22-year-old has just 12 England caps to his name since making his debut in 2018. To put his limited opportunities into perspective, Gary Cahill of Crystal Palace has clocked up more (13) during a similar time frame.
Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier and Reece James have all been ranked above Alexander-Arnold in Southgate’s hierarchy for the right-back position.
The England manager attributed his decision to drop Alexander-Arnold due to a lack of form. However, none of the aforementioned names have been able to hold down a regular spot for their club sides since the turn of the new year.
Walker has been usurped as Pep Guardiola’s first-choice right-back by Joao Cancelo, James, too, has regularly been rotated with Callum Hudson-Odoi, while Kieran Trippier has played just five matches all year following his 10-week ban for breaking betting rules.
In hindsight, Southgate’s decision to overlook Alexander-Arnold is nothing out of the ordinary. He has failed to integrate arguably the best right-back in Europe into his team for many years now, and it seems he is not willing to uncover a solution now.
Luckily for Jurgen Klopp, Southgate’s ignorance is Liverpool’s gain. Kopites would certainly welcome the chance to avoid another high-profile injury on England duty after what transpired with Joe Gomez back in November.