Gareth Southgate last week announced the latest England squad for their World Cup Qualifiers. One of the players that are back in the three lion team was Liverpool star Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Alexander-Arnold has been one of the biggest stars to rise from the Liverpool academy in recent times. At 23, the right-back has already made 191 appearances for his club. But yet, he has only made 14 appearances so for the England national team.
The latest callup to the England team will be vital for Alexander-Arnold as he will try to cement his position in the team. But why does one of the best modern right-back in the world find it difficult to play for his national team?
OOZING WITH TALENT
England currently has one of the most strong squads in the world. The talent in the team is top-class, something that has helped the team to compete on the world stage with consistency. While there is enough depth in each position for the England side, the case of right-back is very curious.
The right-back options that England manager Gareth Southgate can choose from will make anyone in the world jealous. Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Reece James are the few top names that are battling for this position.
The list is not limited to these stars as the country can call on the likes of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Max Aarons and Tino Livermento if needed. All this meant that it is extremely hard for any right back to guarantee minutes in the England squad.
CAN ALEXANDER-ARNOLD HOLD ONTO THE ENGLAND SPOT
Gareth Southgate uses either a back three and back four system according to games. For the England manager, Kyle Walker is a clear favourite, with the Manchester City star able to fill in at the three at the back system. This has helped Walker to have some surety in his place in the team.
Kieran Trippier is 31 and has been showing signs of ageing. This brings the competition for the remaining spot between Reece James and Alexander-Arnold. Both of the players are young and excellent going forward. They have been scoring goals and assisting their clubs, with both of them known for the quality of the crosses they deliver to the box.
However one of the issues many have raised about Alexander-Arnold has been his lack of defensive output. There have indeed been mistakes made by the 23-year-old during some matches and this has led to teams targeting him. But his underlying defensive numbers are decent and comparable to someone like Reece James.
The only difference is the teams in which the right-backs are playing. While Chelsea prefers a more resolute three at the back system, Liverpool is dependent on their full-backs to go forward and provide the width. Hence it is easier for Alexander-Arnold to leave space behind that gets picked up by the opposition.
There is no doubting the quality that Alexander-Arnold has. He is an excellent crosser of the ball and his set-piece delivery is one of the best in the world. Though Walker is still going strong, he is 31 and will not be at the top of his games for long. So if Alexander-Arnold can impress Southgate in the coming World Cup qualifiers, there is no doubt that he could hold onto that right-back spot for England in the years to come.
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