Trent Alexander-Arnold has been dropped from England squad
There is no place for Trent Alexander-Arnold in the first England squad of the year
Trent Alexander-Arnold's omission was one of the standout headlines to come from Gareth Southgate's first England squad of 2021.
While the Three Lions' boss is blessed with an abundance of talent at right-back, the decision to leave the Liverpool man out of the team entirely ahead of games with San Marino, Albania and Poland was, to many, an unexpected move.
Here it is… your first #ThreeLions squad of the year! 👊
— England (@England) March 18, 2021
Southgate confirmed that Alexander-Arnold had been dropped and was not left out due to injury.
"I don't think he's played at the level he's been at during the last few years," Southgate said. "He’s a big talent and I’m sure he will play a big role for England in the future."
Instead, there were call-ups for Chelsea's Reece James and Kieran Trippier of Atletico Madrid.
Whereas Southgate's assessment that Alexander-Arnold has not hit the same heights as he has in recent years is fair, the news that he still wasn't deemed worthy of a place in the squad came as a surprise to many:
Trent Alexander-Arnold left out of #eng squad. Harsh, counter-productive decision by Southgate. TAA is a fantastic attacking right back, never let Southgate down, true professional, gives everything, one of the most technical players around, passing, switching. England need him.
— Henry Winter (@henrywinter) March 18, 2021
If you'd said TAA wouldn't be in an England squad a year ago, I would have laughed you off the zoom call - but hard to argue against the form of Trippier, Walker & James... xoxoxoxox
— Max Rushden 💙 (@maxrushden) March 18, 2021
He’s had dips in form (wait till you see Trippier’s dips in form, Gareth!) but the idea you wouldn’t want to be working in training at least with TAA in the last camp pre major tournament is baffling to me. He’s also been better the past few weeks imo.
— Adam Crafton (@AdamCrafton_) March 18, 2021
TAA has obviously not been as good this year...but it’s bizarre to drop him for a lack of form and yet include Dier who doesn’t even play for his club anymore. https://t.co/8BHsE8ciMA
— Jamie Bennett (@jamiebennett92) March 18, 2021
Southgate dropped TAA for poor performances but included Eric Dier and James Ward-Prowse pic.twitter.com/GdA5DlmD2i
— 💬 (@SammyCeeee) March 18, 2021
Others viewed it as good news for his club, who will not have to worry about losing another player to injury over the international break
Good news for #LFC as Trent Alexander-Arnold is left out of the England squad for World Cup qualifiers
— James Pearce (@JamesPearceLFC) March 18, 2021
Trent Alexander-Arnold not included in the England squad. Liverpool to benefit from this but surprised he hasn't been included. pic.twitter.com/26rmJFlOX1
— DaveOCKOP (@DaveOCKOP) March 18, 2021
Got to think that despite Trent Alexander-Arnold’s omission from the England squad being form related, the rest will do him no harm whatsoever.
— Arlo White 💙 (@arlowhite) March 18, 2021
Others pointed it was merely a continuation of Southgate continuing to pick players on their form, not reputation
For years people have demanded the England manager select on form, not reputation. That’s all GS has done here. https://t.co/7Z5D2DDIor
— Gilles (@GillesOffTheWeb) March 18, 2021
England play San Marino at Wembley next Thursday, facing Albania in Tirana three days later. They will then return to Wembley for the game with Poland the following Wednesday.