England Under-21s manager Aidy Boothroyd says that Trent Alexander-Arnold is too far on in his development to drop down from the senior team.
Debate has arisen over the Liverpool right-back, who missed out on Gareth Southgate’s latest squad. Instead, the Three Lions boss picked Reece James and Kieran Trippier, as well as Kyle Walker. As such, Liverpool legends Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard have both voiced their disagreement with the decision.
Carragher claimed Southgate has missed the fact that Alexander-Arnold has become better defensively amid Liverpool’s slump in the past few months.
Gerrard, meanwhile, insisted that the 22-year-old needed support rather than dropping.
The Telegraph columnist Mike McGrath posed the question of whether Alexander-Arnold could, therefore, drop down a level and work with the Under-21s.
Asked in a press conference, however, Boothroyd rejected the proposition.
He said (via the Liverpool Echo): “There comes a time when he [Alexander-Arnold] becomes a senior player.
“He wasn’t a consideration for us.”
Southgate: Trent Alexander-Arnold has not been at the same level
England manager Gareth Southgate says the competition at right back is 'incredible' after he leaves Trent Alexander-Arnold out of his squad.
England’s Under-21s begin their European Championship campaign on Thursday. They face Switzerland in their first Group D match, ahead of clashes with Portugal and Croatia.
The senior Three Lions are also in action on Thursday, playing San Marino in their opening 2022 World Cup qualifier.
Southgate makes Alexander-Arnold admission
Asked about his decision to drop Alexander-Arnold after last Thursday’s squad announcement, Southgate made a blunt admission.
He said: “I don’t think he’s played at the level he’s been at during the last few years.
“He’s a big talent and I’m sure he will play a big role for England in the future.”
Liverpool sat top of the Premier League table on Christmas Day. However, they slipped to a low of eighth and now face a battle to make the top four.
They have played well in the Champions League, though, beating RB Leipzig 4-0 on aggregate to reach the quarter-finals.