Paul Merson has labelled Trent Alexander-Arnold as the ‘best passer in the country’ as England prepare for their World Cup opener with Iran tomorrow.
The Liverpool full-back has received criticism for his defensive ability this season but was named in Gareth Southgate’s 26-man squad for the tournament in Qatar.
The former Arsenal favourite was discussing the starting-XI he would name for the Three Lions’ opening game and heaped huge praise on the Scouser.
“I have to play Trent Alexander, he’s the best passer in the country,” he told Sky Sports (via The Boot Room).
The 24-year-old has redefined the right-back spot in recent seasons with his world-class passing ability.
Despite being a defender, he’s one of the most creative players in Jurgen Klopp’s squad and whenever he’s not in the side his absence is felt.
Southgate does have a number of decent options in the position for the national side with the likes of Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker and Reece James all having their own individual strengths.
The latter missed out on a place in the squad through injury, however, and Walker is not fully fit meaning there is a good chance that Alexander-Arnold will earn minutes in the Middle East.
With Iran expected to sit back and get men behind the ball, the ability for the Reds No. 66 to thread the ball through the eye of a needle and unlock defences may come in handy and it’ll be interesting to see the line-up the England boss goes with.
Jordan Henderson is also in the squad but he’s expected to settle for a spot on the bench with Declan Rice and reported Liverpool target Jude Bellingham looking likely to start in central midfield.