Gareth Southgate is still likely to leave Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold out of his England squad for Euro 2020 despite his improved displays, according to reports.
It is now just eight days until Southgate selects his England squad for the European Championships and the talk over who will be selected has ramped up in recent weeks.
Alexander-Arnold was surprisingly left out of England’s squad for the recent World Cup qualifying victories against San Marino, Albania and Poland, with Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier and Reece James the right-backs chosen.
Southgate’s decision has led to scrutiny about where Alexander-Arnold fits into the England boss’ plans ahead of the European Championships.
The 22-year-old, who has 12 senior caps, has been in great form in April and May, assisting four goals for his team-mates and getting on the scoresheet in the process.
Alexander-Arnold has particularly stood out in his last two performances in victories over Manchester United and West Brom but The Athletic still claim he will be a ‘likely casualty’ as Southgate names his squad.
The report says that Walker, Trippier and James will be in the squad this summer ‘at the contentious expense of ‘ the Liverpool defender with ‘no indication that he has leapfrogged his rivals in the manager’s mind’.
The Athletic adds in more detail:
‘It is evident that Southgate wants his full-backs to show strong defensive qualities alongside their attacking instincts and there appear to be reservations over Alexander-Arnold’s ability to strike that balance as well as he believes the other candidates for the position are able to.
‘Although the door is not closed on the 22-year-old Liverpool academy graduate and the Football Association very much envisages him being part of its set-up in the future, it is understood to be improbable that he forces his way into this summer’s plans barring injuries or a change of heart.’
The decision over Alexander-Arnold has not ‘been formed on the basis of talent or character, rather how he fits into Southgate’s thought process’.
There is good news in the report for Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson, Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish and West Ham’s Declan Rice with all three likely to be named in the 26-man squad despite their recent injury troubles.