Hargreaves: why Alexander-Arnold should start for England at World Cup

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Owen Hargreaves admits he would start Trent Alexander-Arnold for England at this summer’s World Cup on the back of his superb form for Liverpool.

The 19-year-old has enjoyed an accomplished season as a regular starter in Nathaniel Clyne’s absence, but has only really caught the eye of the entire league in recent months.

His impressive blend of attacking ambition and constant defensive improvement at such a young age has fuelled excitement surrounding his potential on both the domestic and international stage.

With Gareth Southgate having hinted at a central role for Manchester City right-back Kyle Walker, Hargreaves believes Alexander-Arnold is the man to fill the vacancy beside him.

Speaking to BT Sport after Liverpool’s 3-0 win over Bournemouth, he said: “His confidence is going to be through the roof. He was the best player on the pitch today and he’s peaking at the right time.”

“He’s got personality, he’s aggressive, he’s very good in possession, he wins challenges and nobody ever really beats him one-on-one.”

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If he is able to maintain this level of form across Liverpool’s finish to the Premier League campaign and Champions League semi-final clash with Roma, he will be a difficult option for a manager as dedicated to youth development as Southgate to overlook.

Providing Walker is deployed centrally, Tottenham’s Kieran Trippier represents his closest rival and is arguably only ahead of him at this moment because of experience.

With the momentum he gains from his extended run in the Liverpool team and his numerous European outings, he will boast the confidence and technical ability to back himself against most opponents in Russia.

If the call-up doesn’t come now, it most certainly will beyond this year’s World Cup.

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