Micah Richards has explained that Trent Alexander-Arnold must start for England at the World Cup later this month.
The Liverpool defender has received significant criticism this season for some of his performances for his club but with injuries to Kyle Walker and Reece James, the Reds No. 66 is now expected to be on the plane to Qatar.
Gareth Southgate will name his squad that will be heading to the tournament on Thursday and although the Scouser didn’t play a single minute during England’s Nations League clashes with Germany and Italy in September.
“Trent is my favourite – I love him,” he told the Mirror (via the Liverpool Echo). “Obviously, he has gone through a difficult patch at Liverpool but what he possesses going forward is ridiculous.
“I played at right-back – and what these boys are doing in that position now is just amazing. Gone are the days when your full-backs tried to keep things tight defensively and then got forward when you could.
“They start in forward positions now and are expected to create chances like wingers.
“Trent doesn’t only have to go – he has to play. International football is slower than the Premier League, so I think that will help him from a defensive point of view. England don’t press like Liverpool. They drop off and get into shape, so that would really suit Trent. It isn’t great going into a tournament with so many injuries.
“I just hope we don’t play three at the back because when England play that system, we always get pushed back and it becomes five at the back. Gareth also likes two defensive midfielders – so that would give us seven defensive players. I really don’t think we can win the World Cup playing like that.”
At the moment, Newcastle’s Kieran Trippier is the only other senior right-back that Southgate can call upon although it remains unclear whether Walker and James will recover in time for the tournament that begins on November 20.
Alexander-Arnold certainly has redefined the fullback position in recent seasons but his defensive ability has been questioned at times.
His attacking ability shines through, however, and he can create endless amounts of opportunities for the attacking players ahead of him if he’s given the opportunity.
The Liverpool Academy graduate is also a set-piece specialist and has scored a number of stunning free kicks for the FA Cup champions in recent seasons.
Following decent showings at the 2018 World Cup as well as finishing as runners-up at the 2020 European Championships, hopes that the Three Lions can inspire the nation once again are high.
We certainly believe that Trent should be on the plane to Qatar but we’ll just have to wait and see what decision Southgate makes.