Premier League • England

Virgil van Dijk gives honest Liverpool perspective on Trent Alexander-Arnold England snubs, naming another teammate who deserves place

Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold

Virgil van Dijk has explained what he really thinks about Liverpool teammate Trent Alexander-Arnold sometimes being overlooked by England.

Alexander-Arnold has come in for some criticism in recent months, amid Liverpool’s inconsistent start to the season. Even before, he was in the spotlight due to his omission from some England squads.

Obviously, Gareth Southgate has a lot of options to choose from at right-back when everyone is fit. At times, he has preferred the likes of Reece James, Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier to Alexander-Arnold.

But generally speaking, at club level, the Liverpool man has been one of the best in the world in his position. His attacking contributions have tended to outweigh his defensive deficiencies.

For whatever reason, England can’t seem to get the same version of Alexander-Arnold, so have sometimes preferred to ignore him altogether.

But for clubmate Van Dijk, it is surprising that Liverpool’s number 66 does not have more responsibility on the international scene.

“I was surprised to see Trent Alexander-Arnold not starting for England,” Van Dijk told Gary Neville on The Overlap.

“England are very lucky to have many talented right-backs, maybe everyone grew up wanting to be the next Gary Neville!

“They have Reece James and Kyle Walker, who are outstanding. But Trent should at the very least be in the squad. They play five at the back, which is a different role for him. But with his quality – if you give him the confidence he needs, he can be so valuable for England.”

Van Dijk backs Gomez to join Alexander-Arnold at World Cup

Due to injury concerns for James and Walker, Alexander-Arnold may yet get the opportunity to represent his country at the Qatar World Cup, which starts later this month.

But he is not the only Liverpool defender who should be in Southgate’s squad, according to Van Dijk.

Indeed, the Dutchman believes Joe Gomez is also worthy of being in contention for a place on the plane.

“I think England have so much quality, and some unbelievable players in Phil Foden, Marcus Rashford, Jude Bellingham,” Van Dijk continued.

“Even Joe Gomez should go in my opinion – I try to help him play better. He was outstanding against Manchester City.

“He can also play in a back-five, on the left, in the centre or on the right. But in general I think England has some fantastic players.”

Midfielder Jordan Henderson is the other Liverpool representative who could be in the England squad, which is expected to be announced on November 10.

Van Dijk, for his part, is likely to be among the Netherlands squad, announced on November 11.

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