Jurgen Klopp told reporters gathered for his pre-match presser of his surprise that Trent Alexander-Arnold was dropped from the England squad.
Gareth Southgate explained that the decision was entirely motivated by a drop in form and the player not replicating his top performances at club level for the national side.
“I was surprised when he didn’t get the call up. I hadn’t even thought about it (being a possibility). I didn’t plan at all with him,” the German said. “We had sessions planned for after the call-ups and players who were going on international duties had time off, and Trent was in that group just to show how surprised I was about it.
“If Trent Alexander-Arnold is not in the squad of England then England must have an extremely good squad,” Klopp added. “I respect the decision, of course I do. But I didn’t understand it.”
England’s loss is Liverpool’s gain
It’s a decision that truly boggles the mind, particularly when considering that Kieran Trippier and Reece James – both great players in their own right – were selected over him.
Trent didn’t begin with the kind of ludicrous form that was so commonplace for the right-back in our prior two seasons, though he has started to show signs of returning to his brilliant best.
Regardless, on his day, he’s arguably the most talented fullback England have to call upon; a creative force that the national side is in absolute dire need of.
Nonetheless, it’s Southgate’s mistake to make, the Three Lions’ loss to bear, all to Klopp and Liverpool’s benefit going forward.