Match of the Day 2 host Mark Chapman says that Jurgen Klopp will be “delighted” with Gareth Southgate’s decision to omit Trent Alexander-Arnold from this month’s England squad, as Liverpool look to avoid any further injury scares.
Alexander-Arnold, 22, was overlooked by Southgate as the Three Lions begin their World Cup qualifying campaign in the coming days. The England boss attributed his decision to drop the Liverpool right-back due to a lack of form.
Instead of featuring against the likes of San Marino, Albania and Poland this week, Alexander-Arnold will remain on Merseyside at Liverpool’s AXA Training Centre – and Chapman believes this is particularly beneficial to Klopp, despite his player’s understandable disappointment.
Chapman and Crafton on Alexander-Arnold
“If I was Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool I’d be absolutely delighted,” he said, per the Ornstein & Chapman Podcast.
“First of all, an opportunity to give him two weeks off and not have to play him against Albania. Brilliant.”
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Chapman’s colleague and The Athletic’s reporter, Adam Crafton, also weighed in on the controversy surrounding Alexander-Arnold’s England omission. He believes that the set-back could still be beneficial for the West Dery defender in the long-term.
“Those who are closest to Alexander-Arnold recognise that maybe there could be a long-term win for everyone,” he said.
“Have a couple of weeks off, get yourself back to your best, go again for the last few games of the season, go to the Euros and then be a bit fresher.”
“I do think it’s a bizarre decision. The thing I find strange is that he could have called Alexander-Arnold up and only played him for one of the three games, for example.
“But, I find it strange that we’re talking here about England’s most talented young player and why wouldn’t Gareth Southgate want to train with him for 10 days?
“You get so little time with these players over the course of the past year. Why would you not want to use that time?
“Even if you don’t want to play him competitively, why wouldn’t you want him involved in the shape, set-pieces, involved in understanding what it is that you want to do with England? That’s what I find bizarre.”
What RTK has to say
Both Chapman and Crafton make a number of interesting points, and it seems the only party that is set to benefit from this controversy is Liverpool.
The Reds have been decimated by injuries this season, after all, so the news that Alexander-Arnold won’t be at risk during the international break is, of course, a bonus.
However, there is no telling what such a setback could do to the player’s confidence. Luckily for Alexander-Arnold, though, he has the best manager in club football to reassure and remind him of his quality.
If Southgate cannot see a future for Alexander-Arnold with England then it really points to a major coaching limitation to the man who has been tasked to lead his country to European glory this summer.