Liverpool right-back Trent Alexandre-Arnold is one of five players to be left out of the England squad to face Germany on Monday, their last game before the World Cup.
Manager Gareth Southgate has consistently overlooked Alexander-Arnold, with Kyle Walker, Reece James and Kieran Trippier ahead of him in the pecking order.
And with doubts over whether Liverpool’s most creative player will make it into the Three Lions World Cup squad, his omission from the 23-man squad to face Germany speaks volumes.
Alexander-Arnold was an unused substitute in England’s 1-0 loss to Italy on Friday night, their fifth game in a row without a win and their third without even scoring a goal.
It has now been revealed that the 23-year-old is one of five players to miss the squad to face Germany, with Rob Dorsett of Sky Sports AC Milan’s Fikayo Tomori has been linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium. Southamptonby James Ward-Prowse and West HamJarrod Bowen was also omitted. City of ManJack Grealish will also not feature due to suspension.
If Alexander-Arnold, a player who registered 66 assists in his six years as a Liverpool player, cannot make the squad at a time when England are struggling to score goals and to create opportunities, then the writing seems to be on the wall.
This year, managers can name 26 players in their World Cup squads, up from 23 in previous tournaments, which could work in favor of Alexander-Arnold.
But even if he is selected, any actual playing time seems unlikely, with Walker, James and Trippier all clearly ahead of him in the current pecking order.
Southgate was quizzed on Sunday about the abilities of Alexander-Arnold, to whom he praised his “fantastic range of passing”, before moving quickly to the attributes that James and Trippier can also offer.
The right-back has been criticized for his defensive contributions to Liverpool this season, with the Reds full-backs keeping just two clean sheets since the start of the campaign last month.
You can only assume that Southgate continues to overlook him due to worries about the defensive side of his game.
For Liverpool, Alexander-Arnold’s omission from the squad to face Germany is welcome news, with the right-back set to return to Merseyside having played no minutes during the international break.
The meeting of the Reds with Brighton Saturday is the first of 13 games they will play over the next six weeks, before the mid-season break for the World Cup.
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