The FIFA World Cup in Qatar is a few days away and England head coach Gareth Southgate has named his probables but there is a lot of doubt about Liverpool defender Tren Alexander-Arnold and whether he will make it to the final squad for the Three Lions.
There are quite a few options for Southgate in right back and even without the Liverpool youngsters, one would think that he has enough options in Reece James and Kyle Walker who are more defensively reliable than Alexander-Arnold who has shown several defensive frailties which has costed the Reds some important games in the last couple of season.
Gary Neville also spoke about the same thing as he is very concerned with Trent Alexander-Arnold’s tendency to lose concentration during important junctures of the game and he feels in a knockout game all it takes is one moment to knock England out of the tournament. So Neville is really not sure about the Liverpool defender’s inclusion in the final England squad that will travel to Qatar.
But iut is not like Neville only mentioned his defensive frailties, he also shared how the youngster is exceptional going forward but he is ready to cut that down a little to increase more on the defensive side of things. “It’s a really tough one with Alexander-Arnold,” Neville told Sky Sports. “His brilliance going forward is out of this world.”
But Neville also feels that Alexander-Arnold does not give confidence to him and it will be a big risk knowing his defensive frailties for Southgate to play him in a knockout game at the world’s biggest stage. “But we’re talking about knockout football. Whether England win or lose in a World Cup is going to be down to moments. A mistake or a loss in concentration. In this moment in time, I can’t see how Gareth can go into a knockout game in a World Cup playing Trent Alexander-Arnold,” Neville explained.
Liverpool recently won against Tottenham 2-1 but it was a tough night for Alexander-Arnold as he was up against Ryan Sessegnon and Ivan Perisic and the constant one on one battles with the Spurs players proved that he has a lot to improve in the defensive side of things. Therefore Neville took a reference from the recent game and shared how he was under a lot of pressure against Spurs. Neville feels that Alexander-Arnold can be the best right back in the world but for that he needs to work on several aspects.
“I want this player to be the greatest right-back of all time because he’s got the ability to do that. But at times at Tottenham, he looked like he could cost Liverpool dearly,” Neville highlighted
Lastly the former Manchester United and England international raised a very important question of whether the Liverpool right back will make it to the team if the coach does not trust him. Neville feels that there are already too many options at right back and Southgate should not take him if he does not have confidence in the youngster.
“In a World Cup, I think he’s giving away a penalty [for his challenge on Sessegnon]. I don’t think Gareth will trust him in a knockout game. Which means, will he then take him? If he’s got four brilliant right-backs, will he go?”
The only alternative that Neville could think of was to use Alexander-Arnold as a joke in the pack for Southgate and England. He feels that the Liverpool star can be used as an attacking outlet when the Three Lions are in dire straits and need a goal. However it depends on Southgate now to select the Liverpool defender or not.