Editor’s Column: Trent Alexander-Arnold should start alongside Declan Rice for England

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Trent Alexander Arnold vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina:

■ Most passes (90)

■ Most crosses (7)

■ Most long balls (7)

■ Most chances created (5)

Not to mention the wonderful goal he scored. What else could Trent do to impress Gareth Southgate on his England audition?

Last night, Liverpool’s right-back played in midfield for the Three Lions in an uneventful 3-0 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The overall England performance was boring until they found goals late on, but Trent was the best player on the park.

His inclusion in not only England’s squad but starting XI should be certain, although with Southgate, we know it isn’t.

No player on the planet can spray a long-ball like Trent. The manner in which he finds Jack Grealish below is truly beautiful.

His goal was terrific, too. It takes real technique to hit that ball first time on the volley and find the bottom corner of the net.

With Declan Rice anchoring in a potential best England XI, Trent can afford to get on the ball and look for the plethora of talent ahead of him.

With Bukayo Saka, Phil Foden, Jude Bellingham and Harry Kane ahead of him, Trent’s passing can truly be maximised.

He will lose the ball, but he should be given licence to. Thankfully, Rice is so good defensively that Trent’s occasional error in tracking a runner should be accounted for.

We all know Southgate will start Kyle Walker as his right-back. There’s nothing Trent can do to change that. But in midfield, is there really anybody better?

Kobbie Mainoo and Adam Wharton are very good young players. They are not even close to Trent’s level yet, though. Curtis Jones is also top quality. Again, he’s not Trent. Southgate starting Connor Gallagher over Trent would be a crime against football.

It’s a travesty really that Trent isn’t mentioned in the same sentences as Bellingham and Foden.

He’s as generationally talented as both. He’s a unicorn footballer who has been extremely hard done by Southgate over the past five years. He only has 24 caps. He should have well over 50 by now considering he was starting for Liverpool aged 18 and has been the best fullback in the country ever since then.

Southgate’s worry is that he’s a defensive liability. This is such a negative way of viewing Trent, but that’s his prerogative. What can’t be denied though is that in midfield it is less of a risk, especially with someone as good as Rice alongside him.

England play Iceland on Friday in the final friendly before the opening group game against Serbia on June 16.

A few more big hitters will likely get a runout, but it would be great to see Trent given another chance.

There’s part of all Liverpool fans that just wants Trent to get more rest and not be picked by Southgate anymore, but when the big tournaments come round, it’s only right the world gets to see his immense talents.

Keep going, lad. You’re almost there. He can’t ignore you for much longer!


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