Jurgen Klopp has hinted Trent Alexander-Arnold’s wonderful showing against Arsenal is further proof that Gareth Southgate was wrong to leave him out of his latest England squad.
Alexander-Arnold has struggled for Liverpool this season, failing to consistently deliver the sort of performances that have seen him emerge as one of the best right-backs in world football over the past two seasons. But despite his poor form, it still came as a surprise when Southgate omitted him from the squad for March’s World Cup qualifiers.
Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier and Chelsea‘s Reece James were selected in his place, exhibiting extraordinary strength in depth at right-back, but Klopp was aghast at the decision to leave him out.
He said at the time: “If Trent Alexander-Arnold is not in the squad then England must have an extremely good squad. I was surprised when he didn’t get the call-up. I respect the decision, of course I do. But I didn’t understand it.
“I respect that Gareth makes his own decisions, of course, but I didn’t understand it anyway because Trent Alexander-Arnold was in the last two seasons at least, let me say the season before and the season before that, the stand out right-back in world football.”
The break seems to have served the 22-year-old well, as he came to the fore with one of his best displays of the season on Saturday. Liverpool swept Arsenal aside at the Emirates and he assisted Diogo Jota’s opener with a signature cross.
Klopp was visibly delighted at his return to form, but that didn’t stop him taking one more parting shot at Southgate, who he believes was ‘wrong’ to snub the youngster. He told Sky Sports: “We scored these wonderful goals and Trent Alexander-Arnold showed his class, again.
“I don’t want to make another discussion about Trent or stuff like that. I said it was Gareth’s decision [to leave him out]. He is blessed with the choice he has in that position especially but Trent is in a good shape.
“If somebody says he is not then I have to say he is wrong, that is all. I am not responsible for his decisions.”