'He's the best': Paul Merson makes claim about 24-year-old Liverpool star ahead of the World Cup
England kick-off their campaign in Qatar tomorrow against Iran and will be without Kyle Walker.
Reece James didn’t make the 26-man squad due to an injury and Gareth Southgate faces a big decision over who will start at right-back.
Kieran Trippier has been in brilliant form for Newcastle this season, while Alexander-Arnold has come under scrutiny for the defensive side of his game. But Merson believes Southgate simply has to start the 24-year-old due to his brilliant passing.
Merson makes claim about Alexander-Arnold
Merson chose his preferred England XI for tomorrow’s World Cup opener and named Alexander-Arnold at right-back.
“I would’ve played [James] Maddison but because I’ve read the news and he hasn’t been training, I’ve put [Mason] Mount in,” he told Sky Sports.
“And I have to play Trent Alexander, he’s the best passer in the country.”
Alexander-Arnold has proven over the past few seasons that he is the most productive full-back in the world in terms of his attacking output.
The Englishman has posted incredible numbers from right-back, providing 62 assists and scoring 15 goals since his debut back in 2016.
But it’s clear that Southgate has reservations over his defending as this area of his game has been exposed slightly this season.
Yet, the Liverpool star should have a big role to play during the tournament in Qatar, with Trippier being the only other natural right-back in the squad.
Ben White has performed brilliantly in the position for Arsenal this season but Alexander-Arnold provides a completely different option for Southgate.
He’s a player who is capable of unlocking defences with his pinpoint passing and could be pivotal for England against teams that will sit behind the ball.
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