Rangers manager and Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard has made his feelings clear to Gareth Southgate over the bold call to bin Trent Alexander-Arnold.
England’s latest squad did not include the Reds right-back, with three alternatives preferred ahead of the 22-year-old talent.
Atletico Madrid’s Kieran Trippier, 30, made his way into the side despite missing plenty of football this season following his 10-game ban for breaching betting rules.
Trippier, though, has shone in Spain since leaving Tottenham and is fondly remembered for his 2018 World CUp exploits where he was a standout performer in the tournament and scored against Croatia in the semi-finals.
Chelsea’s 21-year-old Reece James and Manchester City’s versatile Kyle Walker, who can also play on the right side of a back three, are in the squad too.
Alexander-Arnold is one of many Liverpool players to endure a disappointing season at Anfield off the back of their Premier League title glory.
But Reds icon Gerrard still found Southgate’s decision harsh on Alexander-Arnold, and has offered his support to the player.
“One thing’s for sure, I’ll always be there for Trent,” Gerrard, 40, said. “It goes without saying, any second of the day. I wouldn’t make the first move. He’s a man himself. He knows where he’s at.
“Gareth Southgate makes the decisions there. I don’t necessarily agree with that decision, but I’m not the England manager.
“I think Trent is the best English right back in the country. One thing I’ve learnt from being a player is you can’t always be ten out of ten. When you do come off, you need that support, love and attention from your manager more than anyone else.
“So, I was surprised by the decision but that’s my opinion and my opinion is not important in this.”
Alexander-Arnold may benefit from a rare proper rest over the coming fortnight.
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Liverpool still have plenty to play for this season with Arsenal up next in the Premier League and a Champions League quarter-final tie with Real Madrid awiting them in April.
If Alexander-Arnold can rediscover his best form in the next two months, he may well make the squad for Euro 2020 this summer.
“Trent is a world-class right back,” Gerrard added. “He’s the best right back the country has got. We’ve got other fantastic right backs, by the way. But, I’m there for Trent and any of the other Liverpool players at any moment of the day.”
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