England squad Euro 2020: Gareth Southgate wants ‘positional balance’ from Trent Alexander-Arnold replacement
Trent Alexander-Arnold’s replacement will need to maintain “positional balance” in England’sEuro 2020 squad, according to Gareth Southgate, as he prepares to call up a stand-in for the injured right-back.
Alexander-Arnold will miss this summer’s tournament after suffering a thigh injury during the late stages of Wednesday’s 1-0 friendly win over Austria.
The Liverpool full back’s replacement will be called up from the pool of stand-by players who were cut from the provisional 33-man squad and failed to make the final 26-man selection earlier this week.
Southgate is already well stocked at right-back, with Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier and Reece James all capable of filling the role, meaning midfielders Jesse Lingard or James Ward-Prowse could be in line to benefit.
Ben White and Ben Godfrey are also in contention having missed out on a spot among Southgate’s defensive options, though the England manager will wait until after Sunday’s friendly against Romania to make the call.
“We want to see how we get through tomorrow’s game as well. We’ll be able to assess everything and make a decision from then. There’s not a rush,” he said.
“It’s important to have time to consider everything and we’re talking about it as a coaching staff. We’ll know more after tomorrow’s game on where everybody is physically, whether there’s any more issues.
“It’s important we get the positional balance right for the whole squad.”
Southgate described Alexander-Arnold’s injury as “heartbreaking” but suggested that it is less severe than first feared and that it will not prevent him from starting the 2021-22 season with Liverpool.
“You know how rare these opportunities are and even though he’s a young player who is going to have those opportunities again, I firmly believe that, that’s a really difficult moment, for him especially,” he said.
“It’s a big disappointment for us of course as well but you can’t help but first and foremost feel for Trent in this situation.
“The one thing I was pleased about, in that immediately after the game I didn’t like the look of the injury, at least it sounds as though he should be fine for pre-season and next season.
“But that is a very small positive in the situation he is. He was very upset, bitterly disappointed, and in those moments everybody is thinking about him.”
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