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‘Trent is very much in contention’ – Southgate denies claims he doesn’t rate Alexander-Arnold

The England boss says the Liverpool star certainly has a chance to be part of his squad for the upcoming Euros

England boss Gareth Southgate denied claims that he doesn’t rate Trent Alexander-Arnold, who was selected to the Three Lions’ preliminary squad ahead of the Euros.

The Liverpool defender was dropped by Southgate for World Cup qualifiers in March amid a series of poor performances on the club level.

However, Alexander-Arnold starred for Liverpool in the closing weeks of the Premier League season, helping them to a third-place finish, with Southgate now saying that the defender’s exclusion wasn’t because the coach doesn’t see him as good enough for the Three Lions.

What did Southgate have to say?

“It’s not that straightforward,” Southgate said of England’s right-back group of Alexander-Arnold, Kieran Trippier, Reece James and Kyle Walker.

“Everyone sees these as four right-backs but there’s a lot more to all of those players. We need versatility, we need competition for places and we are still unclear on certain injuries. Trent is very much in contention.

“People think I don’t think Trent is a good footballer. That just isn’t the case. He has indirectly come in for some criticism and I felt the need to communicate more with him than anyone else over the past couple of months but I think his performances have been very good.

“I’m a little bit surprised by some of the things that have been written because people just don’t know those communications that have gone on. But that is credit to Trent that he has kept that to himself.”

Alexander-Arnold’s place with England

The Liverpool defender is one of four right-backs in the squad as he’s joined by Walker, James and Trippier on Southgate’s provisional list.

Southgate will make a final decision regarding his full squad on June 1, when he will have to narrow down the 33-player preliminary roster to a team of 26.

Both Walker and James could be set to feature in this weekend’s Champions League final, while Trippier heads towards the Euros after helping Atletico Madrid win La Liga.

Alexander-Arnold, meanwhile, made 45 appearances in all competitions for Liverpool this season, coming on strong at the end of the campaign to force himself back into contention.

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