When the England national team manager Gareth Southgate dropped Trent Alexander-Arnold from his squad for the World Cup Qualifiers in March, the decision sparked a plethora of debates around the country, and also around Europe, as to whether the manager was right to drop a player of such class and pedigree, three months before the start of Euro 2020?
In terms of the reactions from pundits and media in England, one can certainly say that there were divided opinions on this matter. We heard the likes of Gary Neville defending Southgate’s decision and making a case for why Alexander-Arnold wouldn’t be in the final Euros’ squad, while Rio Ferdinand, Jamie Carragher and Micah Richards were vehemently in favour of the Liverpool right-back at least making the squad, if not starting the games.
So, moving away from all the thoughts and “opinions” of the people, let us take a look at it from an objective viewpoint and analyse what the 22-year-old has done so far in his career, and why him not being in the England squad for a major tournament would be more of a loss for the team than to the player himself.
Comparison with selected English right-backs
Southgate mentioned Alexander-Arnold’s defensive lapses and loss of form going forward this season as one of the main reasons why he dropped him last month. So, let’s compare the numbers produced by the three right-backs who were selected for the squad – Reece James, Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier – against the Liverpool man’s. We use comparative plots for metrics on and off the ball to have an overall understanding.
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