Liverpool title winner backs Trent Alexander-Arnold for call-up to Gareth Southgate’s Euro 2020 England squad
Dejan Lovren has backed Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold to receive a call-up to Gareth Southgate’s England squad for this summer’s Euro 2020, while speaking with The Athletic.
Southgate is expected to name his Three Lions squad for the tournament next Tuesday (Mirror), and can select up to 26 players after the limit was increased from 23 to mitigate the risks of teams being short on options due to Covid testing and quarantine measures.
But, despite the increased limit, Alexander-Arnold faces question marks over his position, having been dropped for the March internationals with Southgate feeling the right-back had suffered a dip in form compared to Reece James, Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier (iNews).
Southgate told Alexander-Arnold that he must maintain a high level over the final months of the season if he wishes to feature at the Euros (iNews), as James was ‘exceptional’, Trippier has been ‘consistently good’ and Walker was also ‘exceptional’ for club and country.
Lovren accepts that Alexander-Arnold’s form had taken a dip midway through the campaign but argues the 22-year-old has not had a bad season, and that there should be no question marks over his place in Southgate’s squad.
“Every player has ups and downs. Maybe only [Lionel] Messi and [Cristiano] Ronaldo can say that they have spent 15 years at the absolute top of the level,” Lovren, who won the Champions league with Alexander-Arnold in 2019, said. “For all the rest of us, it’s up and down. They are something different from the rest of us.
“Trent didn’t have a bad season. In the end, he deserves the call, especially with the background of what he’s done with Liverpool in the past three years, playing twice in the Champions League final and helping them to win the Premier League.
“He was also playing at the last World Cup and has more experience now. For me, there is no question with Trent. Of course, he deserves a spot in that 23-man squad.”
Unfortunately for Alexander-Arnold, he did suffer arguably his worst run of form around the time that Southgate was naming his squad for the March internationals, but he has bounced back magnificently over the following months to peak at the perfect time for England.
He thrived against Manchester United in Liverpool’s rearranged trip to Old Trafford last week and created chances from a variety of angles, and saw his efforts rewarded when Roberto Firmino scored just before half-time.
Alexander-Arnold again registered an assist last weekend when Alisson headed home the winner over West Bromwich Albion, with the full-back’s corner finding the goalkeeper unchallenged in the box deep into stoppage-time.
The full-back was strong defensively in those encounters, as well, and it would be fair to say that he deserves to regain the first-choice spot in Southgate’s plans, it just remains to be seen if the England boss is as willing.
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