Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold is expected to be named in England’s 26-man squad for Euro 2020, despite various reports previously suggesting Gareth Southgate would leave him out.
The 22-year-old fullback endured a difficult first few months of Liverpool’s 2020/21 campaign, struggling for form after suffering from Covid-19 over the summer. That slump coincided with a catalogue of defensive injuries at Anfield, contributing to a relatively meek defence of the Premier League title Jurgen Klopp’s side had won the previous season.
Alexander-Arnold shouldered plenty of blame for Liverpool‘s downturn, and with his confidence low he was left out of England’s squad for their World Cup qualifying triple header in March. He was, however, included in Southgate’s provisional 33-man squad that was named last Tuesday, but had been expected to miss out when it came to excluding seven players.
But those reports appear to have been wide of the mark – or Southgate has changed his mind at the last minute – and Alexander-Arnold is now expected to be named alongside Reece James, Kyle Walker and potentially Kieran Trippier in England’s 26, amid claims that he could also be utilised in midfield.
While it’s good news for Alexander-Arnold, the same can’t be said for Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard – who does look set to be one of the seven players cut from England’s final squad.
The 28-year-old enjoyed a superb second half to the season on loan at West Ham, reinvigorating his ailing career with nine Premier League goals in 16 games. That form helped the Hammers seal a place in the Europa League for next season, though all of those goals did come in his first 10 appearances in claret and blue – he finished the season without a goal in six games.
Lingard had previously found himself stuck on the sidelines at Manchester United – leaving his hopes of representing England at another major tournament in tatters – but there was renewed hope that he could represent the Three Lions this summer after he was recalled by Gareth Southgate in March.
He was then named Premier League player of the month for April, while he also took home the prize for goal of the month after scoring a superb individual goal at Wolves.
Despite his drop off in form during the final few weeks of the season, Lingard was included in England’s provisional 33-man squad for Euro 2020. But various sources, The Guardian included, report that he will be one of the players left out by Southgate when he names his final squad at 17:00 BST.
Mason Greenwood will be another high-profile omission from Southgate’s final party, although the in-form Manchester United forward looks to have missed out because of an ongoing injury niggle. There’s also unlikely to be a place for Southampton captain James Ward-Prowse, owing to the raft of central midfield talent available to England’s manager.
Ward-Prowse’s exclusion is likely to seal places for both Kalvin Phillips and Jude Bellingham, the latter having enjoyed a superb debut season in the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund, and also indicates that Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson has won his battle to be fit.