The England men’s national team likely didn’t get any new supporters on Merseyside over the last international break. It’s a tough sell, to be fair, made all the more difficult by the baffling decision to not include Trent Alexander-Arnold in the squad.
Although Jurgen Klopp was as befuddled as the rest of us, he was quick to point out the positives in his pre-match press conference.
“We had sessions planned for after the call-ups when players who were going on their national duties had time off and Trent was in that group, just to show how surprised I was about it,” Kloppo explained.
“Then he showed up in training and we could see he didn’t go away. He trained at an extremely high level and he showed a reaction when there is no need to do so. He was really ‘in’ the sessions so that was good.
“He enjoyed the sessions a lot. He is a very ambitious boy and I know he wants to be in the England squad and he will try everything to be there again.”
Trent hasn’t had one of his best seasons in Red, though his bout with COVID to start the season would surely be a mitigating factor. Or so you’d think.
“I respect that Gareth makes his own decisions, of course,” Klopp said, “but I didn’t understand it anyway because Trent Alexander-Arnold was in the last two seasons at least, let me say the season before and the season before that, the stand out right-back in world football—that is the truth and at an unbelievable young age.
“He started the season with COVID and you can imagine it took him a while to get into the season, but from the moment when he was in the season he was one of our most consistent players and a stand-out player.”
Trent shouldn’t feel so distraught by this omission. Southgate also passed on Jadon Sancho and Jack Grealish, and is reportedly considering dropping all three players for the Euros. Well. Good luck with that. Bold strategy, etc.