Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold is expected to be left out of England’s matchday squad to face Germany on Monday evening.
The 23-year-old has struggled to hold down a regular starting spot under manager Gareth Southgate, who kept Alexander-Arnold on the bench for the 1-0 defeat to Italy in favour of using Chelsea’s Reece James.
Now, however, numerous sources have reported that Alexander-Arnold will not even make the bench for Monday’s dead-rubber against Germany, whose chances of winning Group 3 were ended by a 1-0 loss to surprise-package Hungary.
Ahead of the game, Southgate reflected on the ‘difficult’ decision he has to make at right-back every match.
“Of course, he does have a fantastic range of passing, we’re blessed with different profiles of player in that position,” Southgate said of the Liverpool defender.
“If we play with wing-backs, [Kieran] Trippier and Reece James are also exceptional with the ball, in different ways, and we’re always having to look at the full package with everything and assess the players on all of their attributes
“They’ve all been to Champions League finals, some of them have been to latter stages of major tournaments with us, Trent’s won the league, Trippier’s won the Spanish league, [Kyle] Walker’s won the English league, there are so many good attributes about them.
“It’s a really difficult position to make decisions on, but we have to go with the ones we believe, and ultimately I’ll be judged on the outcome, as we know.”
Southgate took the time to praise Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp for figuring out a way to maximise Alexander-Arnold’s strengths.
“I don’t see risks. You can have a style of play and a way of playing, and a balance to the team, that… at Liverpool they find a way of playing that brings the best out of his attributes,” he said.
“And that’s what we’re all trying to do with every team, you’re trying to build a team that accentuates the positives, and within the group protects yourselves against how the opponents might come from you.”
Jarrod Bowen, Fikayo Tomori and James Ward-Prowse have also been left out of the squad, while Jack Grealish is suspended.
There is a place for Brentford striker Ivan Toney, who is in with a chance of earning his first cap after being left out for the Italy loss.