Gareth Southgate spoke to Trent Alexander-Arnold before ruling him out of England’s Nations League tie against Germany and believes his ‘complete game’ is currently lagging behind right rival Kieran Trippier .
The 23-year-old has starred in Liverpool’s successes in recent years but has struggled to translate that form to the international stage.
Alexander-Arnold has won just 17 caps since his debut in 2018 and only one of those has come this year, with the full-back being an unused substitute in Italy and omitted from the squad that faced Germany.
The decision dominated the build-up to Monday’s 3-3 draw despite the squad featuring top right-backs Kyle Walker, Reece James and Trippier, and fuels debate over Southgate’s World Cup selection.
“First of all, I didn’t want a player sitting in the stand for two matches, so I think the way we manage a group of people has been a big strength for us in tournaments and we have to. do,” said the England manager. said.
“The other night we didn’t need the left-back. Against Germany we did it because of the way we acted with the team, so we needed Chilly [Ben Chilwell] on the bench and we had Kieran who at the moment I think his full game is ahead (over Alexander-Arnold). “
Asked about conversations with those left behind, Southgate said: “I had long conversations with each of them, I was very clear with them about where they stand, what they need to improve, what they do well so that they’re very clear on where they sit.
Southgate has never been afraid to make bold calls and trust his instincts during his six years in the England seat.
Alexander-Arnold is a hot topic regarding his decisions, as is loyalty to underprivileged Manchester United captain Harry Maguire.
The 29-year-old gave away the penalty that gave Germany the opener on Monday and was stripped in the move that ended with his second, but Southgate’s conviction remains intact.
“I know everyone says he’s important to me, he’s important to us,” Southgate said. “It’s us, it’s not me.
“Why do we choose it? Because he is one of the players who gives us the best chance of winning.
“So really, we should all want a Harry Maguire who plays consistently and plays with confidence.
“That applies, of course, to quite a few players, but that’s where it all lands, which must be a tough space for him, really, but he’s showing tremendous character.
“I think he has the character to get over that because he’s a lad who went from Sheffield United to Hull City – his journey isn’t one where everything went well.
“Sometimes you have guys who at the start of their careers didn’t have to deal with adversity and when it hits them it’s harder to deal with.
“He’s like most of us, really, in that he’s had a lot of obstacles and that shapes your character.”
The Football Association said the England squad would be announced on November 9 or 10, with the squad meeting on November 14 after the final round of Premier League fixtures.
That leaves little preparation time for the Group B opener against Iran and leaves Southgate facing a ‘unique’ challenge in Qatar.
“There just won’t be time (to meet before),” Southgate said. “They are going to have too many matches and we have to respect what they are doing with their clubs.
“We have a lot of analysis from the opposition. We can attend the matches that are played on Tuesday evening, which we generally cannot do. It’s a bonus.
“Of course, we have to watch our players as best we can.
“We are always looking to find out everything about them and we communicate a lot with the clubs about their physical condition and what is going on. So, we have no shortage of things to do.