Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold is not expected to seal a spot in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for this summer’s European Championships, despite an impressive end to the season.
One of the Premier League’s best right-backs since his 2016/17 breakthrough, Alexander-Arnold has never really managed to convince Southgate, who has always had (justifiable) concerns over the 22-year-old’s defensive ability.
It’s for that reason that The Athletic believe Southgate is likely to axe Alexander-Arnold. Manchester City‘s Kyle Walker and Atletico Madrid’s Kieran Trippier are his two preferred candidates, and Chelsea youngster Reece James is currently favourite to take the third spot.
The door is not completely closed to the Liverpool defender, but it is acknowledged that the chances of him forcing his way into Southgate’s plans at this point in the season are slim to none.
One Liverpool man who does look set to head to the Euros is midfielder Jordan Henderson. The veteran midfielder has been missing since late February after undergoing groin surgery, but if he can prove his fitness in time, Southgate is prepared to name Henderson in his squad.
Southgate will announce his squad on May 25 and Henderson’s name will likely be read out regardless, but the midfielder will then have an extra week to prove himself ahead of the final cut-off point on June 1.
The same goes for centre-back Harry Maguire, whose ankle injury has ended his Premier League season with Manchester United. He is, however, expected back for the Europa League final against Villarreal, so the chances of him being ready for this summer appear higher than Henderson.
Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho and West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice are both expected to be called up as well, and thanks to the extra three spots available to Southgate this year, there should also be a spot for Aston Villa playmaker Jack Grealish.
Grealish has been battling a shin injury for the past three months and has been restricted to two appearances as a late substitute since his return, but Southgate is prepared to give the 25-year-old the nod if his fitness levels justify it.
There are not expected to be any shock inclusions, but one of the most intriguing storylines could be the inclusion of 17-year-old midfielder Jude Bellingham, who has been in outstanding form for Dortmund this season and is set to continue his remarkable rise to prominence with a trip to the Euros.