England boss Gareth Southgate has explained why Trent Alexander-Arnold did not feature for the Three Lions against the United States in the World Cup.
England could only draw 0-0 against USA, and were perhaps fortunate to grab a point after Christian Pulisic’s first-half strike hit the crossbar.
Southgate’s side struggled to create clear-cut opportunities, although they had a lot of the ball.
They had just three shots on target throughout the 90 minutes, and their best opportunity came late on when Luke Shaw’s free kick was headed wide by Harry Kane.
Fans were critical of the England boss for not bringing on Phil Foden, with the Manchester City star still yet to feature in the tournament.
But another notable point was Alexander-Arnold being left on the bench, with supporters believing his attacking qualities could have helped England break through.
Now, prior to England’s clash with Wales on Tuesday, Southgate has made a claim about the Liverpool defender’s role at the World Cup.
Gareth Southgate on Trent Alexander-Arnold
Southgate told reporters during his pre-match press conference: “He definitely could do it against a team that sits back.
“But that’s not how I saw the game against the States. I don’t think they sat back at all. I think they were aggressive and athletic in their pressure.
“But he has some great quality with the ball and can do that, but Tripps [Kieran Trippier] has great quality as well.”
Trippier has started both of England’s World Cup games thus far, with Shaw an ever-present at full-back.
Alexander-Arnold is one of three right-backs in the squad, with Kyle Walker the other. But Walker has been returning from injury, and missed out on the opening games.
However, he is reportedly in contention to be involved for the Three Lions against Wales tonight, which may mean Alexander-Arnold has to again start the game from the bench.