After leaving Trent Alexander-Arnold out of the English squad, England manager Gareth Southgate is now claiming that he did this to protect the Liverpool FC player. The right-back was also recalled into 33-man provisional squad for this summer’s rearranged Euro 2020 tournament, which will need to be cut down to 26 by 1 June. Gareth Southgate, my friends, is obviously a fan of both waistcoats and “will he or won’t he?” speculation.
Of course, Southgate was surprised by the rather intense backlash to his decision, which included Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp:
Trent is very much in contention. People tend to think I don’t think Trent is a good footballer, that just isn’t the case. He has indirectly come in from some criticism at a certain time and I felt the need to communicate more with him than anyone else over the past couple of months but I think his performances have been very good.
I don’t mind the criticism of my decisions, that’s part and parcel of it. But he is a young player we have got to look after and care for.
I’m a little bit surprised by some of the things that have been written about that because people just don’t know those communications that have gone on. But that is credit to Trent that he has kept that to himself.
For whatever reason, he also discussed the prospects of Trent playing in midfield:
I think there is no doubt he could. Of course the difficulty is he hasn’t had the opportunity to do that since he was a younger player and that’s where he came through in Liverpool’s academy.
He’s a fantastic passer of the ball and he has great passing vision. So he’s a playmaker from right-back, that’s kind of what he is. So why wouldn’t that lend itself at some point of his career to being in midfield?
If you read these quotes while rolling your eyes at every other line, then congrats, we’re in the same boat! It’s honestly baffling that he has one of the top players in the world at his position, and not only is he not keen to play him, he also wants to negate his unique qualities at that position by shifting him to another position. I’m just so angry right now. Trent deserves better. 1 June can’t get by fast enough.