The upcoming fixture against Arsenal is crucial for Trent Alexander-Arnold. He responded to recent criticism of being left out of the England squad well by scoring a stellar free kick in Liverpool’s 2-0 win over Rangers.
However, he did not have too much defending to do as the team from Glasgow did not offer much going forward. This weekend’s test against the Premier League leaders Arsenal will show if he has what it takes to be in Gareth Southgate’s squad for the World Cup.
Reflecting on the game to BT Sport at Anfield, Alexander-Arnold said, “I don’t usually score them from that side. For me, it was just about getting it on target, and there is always a chance of it going in.”
“No matter what I always try and think positively. People will say things, but for me, it is about going out there and performing for the team. That is the only thing that matters, helping the team win games. It’s been a slow start to the season for me and I’m looking forward to there rest of the season.”
Who are the contenders at right-back for England?
There is tough competition for the starting spot right-back for the Three Lions, with Kyle Walker, Reece James, and Kieran Trippier currently ahead of Alexander-Arnold in the pecking order.
Of course, modern-day full-backs are expected to be good at attacking and defending. Alexander-Arnold now has three goals this season, with last night’s strike joining the collection. He scored one goal against Bournemouth in the Premier League and one in the Community Shield against Manchester City.
Walker has so far had no goals or assists for Manchester City, but his side is second in the division. He is not an injury doubt for the tournament but is unlikely to feature for City for now due to groin surgery. For Chelsea, James has one goal against Tottenham Hotspur and one assist against Leicester City. He also scored and assisted in an impressive performance against AC Milan on Wednesday night.
Trippier once found the back of the net for Newcastle in the Premier League against Man City and has two assists in all competitions.
Is Alexander-Arnold England’s man?
It is clear that Alexander-Arnold is the most effective going forward. Further, a lack of creativity is something that Southgate’s side has received criticism for. His inclusion in the squad could make a difference in a major tournament.
The game of fine margins has cost England at the most recent World Cup, losing in extra-time to Croatia in the semi-finals and losing on penalties in the Euro final at Wembley against Italy.
Alexander-Arnold is only 23 but has been playing for Liverpool since 2016. His only major tournament appearance came at the 2018 World Cup where he played 79 minutes in England’s final group-stage game against Belgium. He missed Euro 2020 due to a hamstring injury and will be desperate to go to Qatar.
Speaking as a Pundit on BT Sport after the Rangers game, Rio Ferdinand said, “If Trent Can’t Get In The England Squad, It’s A Joke! Yes defensively, there have been frailties in his game, but they are basics that I think he can iron out. For what he offers as an attacker, this guy has to be in this squad.”
Arsenal Fixture is Crucial for Alexander-Arnold
Liverpool travels to the Emirates on Sunday, kick-off at 16:30. Alexander-Arnold can prove he has what it takes defensively against the likes of Gabriel Jesus, Martin Odegaard, and Gabriel Martinelli.