Former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson has praised Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold.
In quotes from the Liverpool Echo, Eriksson hailed the Liverpool player’s crossing ability. The Swede also suggested that the 23-year-old should be England’s starting right-back.
“I guess I’d start with Alexander-Arnold or Kyle Walker, one of them. Trent is a fantastic attacker of course, great crosses and a great right foot, extremely good right foot,” said the 74-year-old. “As a defender, he’s not the best in the world but of course if you play for Liverpool, attacking, attacking, they maybe don’t need that.”
Eriksson did however claim that against more possession-based sides, he may not start with Trent.
“I think it very much depends who the opponent is [for who starts]. For example, Brazil, where you will probably not have the ball as much, maybe then you put in one who is stronger defensively,” he said.
Trent still hoping for starting slot in Qatar
After all the negativity surrounding Trent’s performances at the start of this season, it’s good to hear some more positive words.
Of course, there was still the usual dig at the 23-year-old’s defensive abilities. But Eriksson’s analysis is certainly more balanced than some we’ve recently seen.
As for Alexander-Arnold starting for England, that seems pretty unlikely at this stage. There has been debate around his inclusion in squads in the past. His form currently perhaps doesn’t deserve international recognition, either.
Despite that, he’s in the squad for tomorrow’s game against Italy and Monday’s clash with Germany.
That should be encouragement for the Scouser that his World Cup place is more or less secure. But there’s also three more right-back’s in Gareth Southgate’s squad. There may still be work for Alexander-Arnold to do.
As a result, we should hopefully see a natural improvement in Trent’s game as the build-up to the World Cup continues.
Although he’s never been a nailed-on starter for England, his ability suggests that he really should be.
He’s unlikely to sway the notoriously cautious Southgate fully between now and the tournament’s kick-off. But some good displays across the next few days will put him in with a better chance of game-time in Qatar.