Jurgen Klopp says he doesn’t understand how Gareth Southgate would forget Trent Alexander-Arnold – and believes the Liverpool defender’s exclusion from the England squad isn’t due to a loss of form.
After being left out of the Three Lions team for last week’s World Cup qualification wins over San Marino, Albania, and Poland, Alexander-Arnold faces a tough fight to play in this summer’s European Championships.
After Alexander-Arnold missed the previous meeting in November due to injury, England manager Gareth Southgate chose to stick with the right-back trio of Manchester City’s Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier of Atletico Madrid, and Chelsea youngster Reece James.
Instead, Alexander-Arnold spent this week training at Kirkby ahead of Saturday’s Premier League match at Arsenal, leaving Klopp perplexed that the 22-year-old was not on international duty.
“I was shocked when he didn’t get the call-up,” the Reds’ manager said. “I hadn’t even considered it” (being a possibility). I didn’t make any plans for him.
“We had sessions scheduled for after the call-ups and players going on international duty had time off, and Trent was in that party just to prove how shocked I was.”
“Then he turned up in class, and we saw he wasn’t going anywhere.”
“If Trent Alexander-Arnold is not in England’s squad, the team must be incredibly solid. Of course, I appreciate the decision. Yet I couldn’t comprehend it.”
Although Southgate clarified that Alexander-absence Arnold’s was due to a lack of form, Klopp claims that cannot be the case.
“I am a professional, and we still make choices that other people don’t get,” he said.