Klopp surprised by Alexander-Arnold's England snub

Liverpool manager backs defender to respond positively to setback

REUTERS April 03, 2021


Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said he did not understand England boss Gareth Southgate's decision to drop Trent Alexander-Arnold from the squad for their World Cup qualifiers and backed the defender to respond positively to the setback.

Alexander-Arnold was left out of England's 26-man squad for last month's 2022 World Cup qualifying matches against San Marino, Albania and Poland, with Southgate suggesting the 22-year-old's form had cost him his spot.

"If Alexander-Arnold is not in the squad then England must have an extremely good squad," Klopp said.

"I was surprised he didn't get the call-up. I am a manager, I make decisions every day about team selections. I respect Gareth makes his own decisions but I didn't understand it because Alexander-Arnold was, in the last two seasons, the stand out right-back in world football - that is the truth and at an unbelievable young age."

Alexander-Arnold has been one of the players criticised for Liverpool's disastrous Premier League title defence this season, but Klopp believes the full back has returned to form after a tough start to the campaign that included contracting Covid-19.

"It took him a while to get into the season, but from the moment he was in, he has been one of our most consistent players," Klopp said, adding that Alexander-Arnold could benefit from the England snub.

"He was not with the national team, so he had time to train. He trained at an extremely high level and showed a reaction when there is no need to do so. He was really 'in' the sessions so that was good. He is very ambitious, I am sure he wants to be in the England squad and he will try everything to be there again."


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