Kieron Dyer has admitted his bemusement at the fact Trent Alexander-Arnold is yet to start a game for England at the Qatar World Cup.
The Liverpool full-back earned his first minutes of the tournament during the defeat of Wales on Tuesday night when he was introduced as a second half substitute but Gareth Southgate needs to embrace what the 23-year-old is capable of, according to the former Newcastle midfielder.
“With Trent, and I’ve been a coach, and I’ve heard Gary Neville and all of the pundits on what Trent can’t do. We never embrace what players can do. Could you imagine him against USA the other night? I’ve never seen technique like it since David Beckham, and this is from a right back,” Dyer told the True Geordie Podcast (via Rousing The Kop).
“He’s incredible going forward, but all we seem to do is bash him for what he can’t do. If you’re that worried, you weigh it up and go he might get us a goal, but he might lose us two goals. I can understand that against a Brazil or a Spain, but when it’s USA or Wales… come on.
“Listen, this is no knock. Trippier has had an exceptional season at Newcastle. But Trent, and this is no disrespect to Trippier, when you’re talking about assists, he’s nearly broke every assist record there is for a full-back already.
“I’d play him in all of these games, and if you’re coming to Brazil when you’re worried about Vinicius Jr, then hopefully Kyle Walker is fit or Trippier. But again, we love to tell players what they can’t do.”
The Scouser has had to settle for a spot behind Kieran Trippier and Kyle Walker in the pecking order at right back so far during the tournament.
During the goalless draw with the USA recently, England were crying out for the creativity that the Reds No. 66 so often provides but he was an unused substitute.
He has redefined the full-back spot in recent years, but although he’s renowned for his world-class crossing and set-piece ability, questions marks still remain over his defensive ability.
If the Liverpool Academy graduate is being left out against the likes of Iran and America, then it’s hard to see him starting during the knockout stages and the standard of the opposition increases.
From a selfish point of view, though, the less time Alexander-Arnold spends on the pitch the less risk he has of sustaining an injury.
Jurgen Klopp has Calvin Ramsay and Joe Gomez who can play at right back, as well as James Milner who can cover when needed, but whenever the West Derby-born man isn’t in the side he’s sorely missed.