Graeme Souness was keen to point out that Trent Alexander-Arnold has ‘incredible qualities’ after his England blow on Monday. Gareth Southgate left him out of his squad.
England chose not to include Trent Alexander-Arnold in their squad to face Germany on Monday. The right-back was a notable absentee and while he wasn’t the only one, the Liverpool star was certainly the ‘biggest’.
This is a player who has won the lot at 24, after all. Alexander-Arnold hasn’t exactly been a passenger, either, but one of Liverpool’s best players as they swept up trophies. Notably, they’ve also boasted the stronger defence in England across 2019, 2020 and 2022 – that’s despite their right-back supposedly struggling to defend.
But no matter what you think of Alexander-Arnold’s defending, he plainly has fantastic skills. That’s something Graeme Souness was keen to point out on talkSPORT this week.
“With Trent, he’s got so much quality when he gets in the last third,” said Souness. “He’s the most wonderful kicker of a ball.
“Yes he has got deficiencies when it comes to defending, but what he gives going forward far outweighs that. In saying that, I think for tournament football you have to start a game believing you’re gonna play the very best of what team you’re playing against.
“So in that sense you may start with someone who’s a better defender. But you’ve got to include Trent in your World Cup squad. You’ve got include him. A simple way of putting it would be if you’re chasing a game, he’s your man.
“If you’re getting to the last 15 minutes and you’re holding onto something, I don’t think you’re gonna introduce Trent in that situation. But when you’re looking to get a goal he is your man. He’s got the most incredible qualities when you get in that last third.”
Trent Alexander-Arnold suffers England blow
It’s quite incredible that England supposedly can’t find room for Trent Alexander-Arnold but a Champions League-chasing Liverpool can. That’s just the way it is, though.
And while the player may see this as a blow, Liverpool won’t. The World Cup will displace everything this season and exhaust every player who competes there. Conversely, those don’t go will get a month off to refresh ahead of the run-in.
There’s now a very real chance that England leave Alexander-Arnold at home. In doing so, they could contribute to a very strong Liverpool side post-Qatar.