More often or not when England head to a World Cup a player emerges late on in a season and finds their way into the 23-man squad for the tournament. After last night, one man who should certainly be catching Gareth Southgate’s eye is Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold.
This season not many full-backs have managed to contain the threat posed by Manchester City winger Leroy Sane. The pacey German has got the better of the best this campaign and Liverpool fans undoubtedly feared him ahead of the Champions League tie last night. They needn’t have done so. Liverpool romped to a 3-0 victory and the performance of Alexander-Arnold left Sane shackled and frustrated.
His speed and expert reading of the game left Sane forlorn as Liverpool fans purred over yet another incredible performance from their 19-year-old defender.
Not only was he immense defensively, but when asked to attack he is a potent threat who widens the pitch with his positional play and technical ability.
If you were none the wiser, and asked which right-back on display was the England starter, Kyle Walker would not have been your choice.
It begs the question, should Alexander-Arnold be in contention for the England squad?
Gareth Southgate is blessed at right-back. Not only does he have Walker but also Kieran Trippier at Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United’s Ashley Young to consider. But his recent use of Walker as a centre-back in a defensive trio gives hope to the Liverpool teenager.
He is a perfect option as a right wing-back and after last night it is evident he can play against the best.
If the 19-year-old remains in the Liverpool starting XI for the rest of the season and throughout a Champions League run it will be extremely hard for Southgate not to take notice.
The Liverpool talent might just sneak his way into the World Cup reckoning for this summer.