Gareth Southgate says he asked Trent Alexander-Arnold when he’d like to join the England squad this summer.
The right-back is set to play in the Champions League final for Liverpool after a marathon season. And with England games still to come, Southgate says he gave Trent the option of when he’d join up.
“We’d like him (Trent) to be with us for the start of the camp,” said Southgate via Football Daily. “We gave him the option of reporting a bit later so he got a longer break after the final, but he felt more comfortable to keep going and then finish a bit earlier.
“Given the schedule that they’ve got and the game they’re involved in next weekend, I was happy to sort of work around what he felt was best for his training rhythm.”
It was a different story though for Jordan Henderson. The Liverpool captain was surprisingly left out of Southgate’s squad. The England boss claimed he felt it was best for the 31-year-old to have a break instead.
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Trent flying the flag
It feels slightly strange that Alexander-Arnold and Henderson are the only two players in the national team at the moment.
Over the years of Liverpool underperforming, they still tended to have more than that. Now that The Reds are one of the best teams around, you’d think that would be reflected in the numbers in the squad.
It hasn’t turned out that way, though. Henderson was the sole representative in Southgate’s squad that came so close to winning the European Championship last summer.
The last time a Liverpool player who wasn’t Alexander-Arnold or Henderson was called up for England was Joe Gomez in November 2020.
Home-grown talents thin on the ground
Looking through the Liverpool squad though, you can see why that’s the way it is at the moment. Gomez would likely be in the team more often, but hasn’t been playing enough to warrant a call-up.
The 25-year-old is reportedly keen to reignite his Three Lions chances ahead of this winter’s World Cup. It could even play a big part in whether or not he decides to stay at Liverpool this summer.
Elsewhere, Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott may be knocking on the door soon. For now though, both remain in the U21’s.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is another who’s game-time doesn’t warrant inclusion. James Milner is the only other senior Englishman in the squad, and he has long-since retired.
It could still be that their latest signing, Fabio Carvalho, turns out for England. He represented his adopted nation throughout the under-age squads but has switched allegiance to Portugal for the U21’s.
Having not made a senior appearance yet though, England will be hopeful of winning him back.
Alexander-Arnold could probably have done without these extra games at the end of the season. He is still fighting for his place in the national team though, and will no doubt be keen to have an impact.