Jurgen Klopp shocked over Trent Alexander-Arnold’s England snub as Liverpool boss insists Reds star has been ‘the standout right back in world football’ for two seasons
- Jurgen Klopp has expressed shock over Trent Alexander-Arnold’s England snub
- The Liverpool right back is unlikely to be selected for this summer’s Euros
- Gareth Southgate chose Reece James, Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier in March
- Klopp insists his defender was ‘the standout right back’ for the last two seasons
Jurgen Klopp has expressed shock over Trent Alexander-Arnold’s axing from the England squad and admitted he cannot understand Gareth Southgate’s decision.
Alexander-Arnold, 22, was left startled and angry about being cut from Southgate’s plans for the World Cup qualifiers with San Marino, Albania and Poland.
It now looks likely that he will not be involved in this summer’s European Championship.
Jurgen Klopp has expressed his shock over Trent Alexander-Arnold’s England snub
The move from Southgate was such a surprise to Liverpool that Klopp had to re-configure his training sessions during the international break to include Alexander-Arnold, having initially expected him to be away for most of the two weeks with his country.
Though Alexander-Arnold has had a difficult season, struggling at times with the lingering effects of Covid-19 and then a calf injury sustained in November, Klopp believes he is over those issues and wryly questioned the depth of England’s squad without him.
‘So I was surprised when he didn’t get the call up,’ said Klopp. ‘I didn’t plan at all with him. 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.
The Liverpool full back was not selected for last month’s World Cup qualifier triple-header
Gareth Southgate reportedly told Alexander-Arnold he is unlikely to be picked for the Euros
‘I make decisions every day, every weekend about team and squad selections. We always make decisions that other people probably do not understand.
‘I respect that Gareth makes his own decisions but I didn’t understand it because Trent Alexander-Arnold was in the last two seasons — let me say the season before and the season before that — the standout right back in world football. That is the truth and at an unbelievable young age.
‘I’ve no problem if my players get criticism. They can get it from me, they can get it from other people. He was the standout right back in world football. He started the season with Covid early on which is not good. It took him a while to get into the season but, from that moment he was one of our most consistent players. So that cannot be the reason.’
Klopp says he did not anticipate the snub and had prepared for training without the defender
Right back is an area in which England are well stocked.
‘It is about how you want to play,’ said Klopp. ‘That is the thing Gareth has to make sure. He has Kyle Walker, an outstanding right back who can play centre back. Reece James — big talent, absolutely, Aaron Wan-Bissaka was not there as well and Kieran Trippier who he knows better or longer.
‘So that is the situation. It is his decision, It is about how you want to play. If you want to play against a deep defending side, then, for sure, the crosses and the passes of Trent. I don’t know anybody who can do that like him. I know he wants to be in the England squad and he will try to be there again.’
The German insists that Alexander-Arnold has been the world’s best right back for two years
Alexander-Arnold has been criticised for his defending but Klopp argued: ‘He defends on a really high level for us as well. It is not his first skill but it is not bad.’
Klopp, whose side face Arsenal in the Premier League needing to win to keep in the hunt for a top-four spot, added: ‘If Trent Alexander-Arnold is not in the squad then England must have an extremely good squad. ’
Arsenal v Liverpool, 8pm, Live on Sky Sports.
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