'It's a joke': Rio Ferdinand stunned by what might happen with Liverpool star
Rio Ferdinand has been speaking about Liverpool star Trent Alexander-Arnold on BT Sport, via BBC Sport.
The Reds defender had come in for some criticism ahead of Tuesday night’s Champions League meeting with Rangers.
Alexander-Arnold’s Liverpool display in the 3-3 draw with Brighton at the weekend came under particular scrutiny.
However, the Anfield academy graduate answered his critics with a stellar performance against the Ibrox side.
Alexander-Arnold gave Liverpool the lead after just seven minutes, a superb free kick from 25 yards out.
Come full time, the 23-year-old had been head and shoulders above everyone else on the pitch.
As per Goal.com, he had more touches than anyone else on the field, having completed more passes, made more crosses and won more than 70 per cent of his duels.
After the game, pundits were speaking not only about Alexander-Arnold’s efforts for Liverpool but his chances of making the 2022 World Cup.
‘It’s a joke for me’
Ferdinand believes it would be a “joke” were Gareth Southgate to overlook the Liverpool ace for the final England squad.
“The only way he can control his situation is through performance,” he told BT Sport, via BBC Sport.
“And even then it’s out of his hands, because sometimes a manager will make a decision on a player and say ‘you know what, he isn’t for me’.
“I think Gareth Southgate has already made a decision with Trent. In the Euros he saw that he wasn’t going to be one of the first names on the team sheet and that was in a period where he was absolutely flying.
“So now he’s been out of form for a bit, you’d say that Reece James is the best right-back in the league right now by quite a distance, so he is fighting for that position.
“Even Kieran Trippier is probably ahead of Trent in Southgate’s eyes.
“You’ve got to ask is Gareth Southgate willing to make another player sacrifice a part of their game to be an insurance policy for the right wing-back position? And I don’t think he is.
“But if he can’t get in the England squad, it’s a joke for me. People say defensively there are frailties in his game, and there are, but they are basics he can iron out and I think he can.
“What he gives you going forward, he has got to be in this squad.”
Trent Alexander-Arnold can’t not be in England squad – TBR View
Ferdinand is spot on – Alexander-Arnold is a top-quality player who has a lot he can offer England at the World Cup.
An international manager has to have different options for different gameplans in his squad, not just like-for-like players.
Alexander-Arnold does just this, so he can’t not be in the England squad – though Southgate may well have different plans.