After all the speculation about Trent Alexander Arnold’s inclusion in England’s 26 man squad for Euro2020, the decision has been taken out of Gareth Southgate’s hands.

 

The England manager revealed that he had spoken to the defender “three weeks ago” to assure him of his place in the squad, but the Liverpool full-back was forced off with an innocuous-looking injury late in the second half of the Three Lions’ victory over Austria.

 

With no-one near him, Alexander-Arnold went down clutching his thigh after clearing the ball, an injury that meant he could not complete the ninety minutes.

 

Southgate spoke to Sky Sports about the injury after the game, saying:

 

“We’ve got to see, it’s obviously not a good sign that he’s had to walk off the pitch, and he was in some discomfort.

 

As the dust settles, it appears as though the Liverpool defender’s hopes of going to the European Championships lie in tatters.

 

Respected Liverpool news journalist Paul Joyce reported that the injury has been assessed as a thigh strain which will keep the 22-year-old out of action for six weeks

 

One man’s misfortune is anothers opportunity however, and a space in the 26 man squad has now opened up for one of the unlucky six that were cut initially (Mason Greenwood, the seventh player cut, has been ruled out through injury).

 

Defensively, Ben White or Ben Godfrey may be recalled, although both looked slightly shakey in England’s backline against Austria, the latter only being spared a horrific own goal by Jordan Pickford’s quick thinking.

 

This injury could also mean a recall for James Ward-Prowse, who’s value may be seen by the quality of his dead-ball delivery. With Trent’s ability to cross the ball now unavailable to Southgate, Ward Prowse could find himself getting the call.

 

The other options, Jesse Lingard and Ollie Watkins, appear unlikely due to their attacking nature. Whilst Lingard provided another solid performance against Austria, he would be competing with the likes of Phil Foden, Jack Grealish and Jadon Sancho for a place in the side.

 

The same can be said of Ollie Watkins, who had an impressive domestic season but is unlikely to make the side ahead of Harry Kane or Dominic Calvert Lewin, a fact that Alexander-Arnold’s injury does not change.

 

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By Scopie

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