Jurgen Klopp: I will always pick ‘exceptional’ Trent Alexander-Arnold for Liverpool despite England omission
Trent Alexander-Arnold returned to Anfield “not in a party mood’ after being left out of the England squad that faced Germany in the Uefa Nations League on Monday, but the Liverpool right-back still has the support of his manager Jurgen Klopp.
Despite being on the substitutes’ bench for
England’s 1-0 loss to Italy at San Siro last Friday night, Alexander-Arnold was then omitted from Gareth Southgate’s matchday squad for the final Nations League fixture with Germany three days later.
That Wembley clash ended 3-3 as win-less England suffered relegation after finishing bottom of Group A3, however, it was Alexander-Arnold’s omission in favour of Chelsea’s Reece James and Newcastle United’s Kieran Trippier that dominated the headlines the next day.
Klopp, though, was tight-lipped on the matter and refused to criticise Southgate, saying only he would pick the player in his line-up, starting at home to Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday.
“Do we really want to open this box? You are English journalists and we cannot discuss selections until the World Cup starts,” said Klopp in his press conference on Friday.
“This is why you make massive things of this.
“My honest opinion would create headlines. You want that? It would maybe help Germany but it wouldn’t help England.
“I have a lot of things to say, but I don’t think it makes sense.”
Southgate suggested he went with Trippier because his “all-round game is ahead” of Alexander-Arnold’s.
And while acknowledging the England manager had a tricky call to make over this area of the team, Klopp did say he disagreed and would always select the 23-year-old as his right-back.
“We are fine here, it’s completely different. I see Trent differently, that’s clear,” said the German.
“People talk about him not being a good defender, that’s not true, he is a good defender, he doesn’t always defend good, that’s true.
“He’s 23. We’re working on it.
“Whatever team I would have at the moment, I would pick Trent. He is exceptional.
“England are blessed with players in this position. Reece James can play three at the back, did that well for Chelsea.
“It’s Gareth’s decision. He made it. I see it differently. Doesn’t mean it’s right or wrong.
“Trent came back not in a party mood, but he accepts the manager’s decision because he is extremely bright.
“The manager decides and more often than not here it is the case he is picked. It’s clear, he’s a world-class player.”