- Other options being favoured
- Struggling for international game time
- Sweating on World Cup selection
WHAT HAPPENED? The Liverpool right-back saw no minutes during the Three Lions’ 1-0 defeat against Italy on Friday and will be completely absent from Gareth Southgate’s plans when a disappointing UEFA Nations League campaign comes to a close against old adversaries at Wembley on Monday. The 23-year-old will now be sweating on tickets to Qatar in November, with England favouring other options in an area of the field in which Reece James, Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier also operate.
WHAT THEY SAID: Southgate has said of Alexander-Arnold: “Of course, he does have a fantastic range of passing, we're blessed with different profiles of player in that position. It's a really difficult position to make decisions on, but we have to go with the ones we believe, and ultimately I'll be judged on the outcome, as we know. I don't see risks.
“You can have a style of play and a way of playing, and a balance to the team, that... at Liverpool they find a way of playing that brings the best out of his attributes. And that's what we're all trying to do with every team, you're trying to build a team that accentuates the positives.”
STORY IN THREE PHOTOS:Getty
DID YOU KNOW? Alexander-Arnold has only featured in eight of England's last 35 matches since the start of 2020.
THE VERDICT - BY NEIL JONES, LIVERPOOL CORRESPONDENT FOR GOAL: Alexander-Arnold's uneasy relationship with England continues. In contrast to his club career, his international journey has been more about downs than ups. For a player of such talent, who made his debut in 2018, to have only 17 senior caps is quite remarkable.
Gareth Southgate, in fairness, would argue that he has more than adequate alternatives, even if Reece James is yet to fully convince at the level, and even if Kyle Walker seems to be a centre-back for his country these days. For Alexander-Arnold, there has to be genuine concern now that a place in the World Cup squad will elude him. Frustrating, to say the least, but all he can do now is concentrate on his Liverpool form, and improving that. At least there are plenty of games coming up for him to get his teeth into.
WHAT NEXT FOR ALEXANDER-ARNOLD? While Alexander-Arnold will be disappointed to have missed out, he will now return to Anfield fresh ahead of Liverpool’s next Premier League outing against Brighton on Saturday.