Jurgen Klopp made feelings clear over Trent Alexander-Arnold snub as Liverpool star has last laugh

Jurgen Klopp and Trent Alexander-Arnold
-Credit: (Image: Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Jurgen Klopp has already made his feelings clear about Trent Alexander-Arnold's lack of game time for England.

The 25-year-old Liverpool star is currently behind Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier in the Three Lions' pecking order, and began Euro 2024 playing in midfield with Declan Rice before being substituted for Conor Gallagher and then Kobbie Mainoo.

Despite Gareth Southgate's plans to change to a three-man defence and wing-backs for Saturday's quarter-final match against Switzerland, Alexander-Arnold was once again not included, even though many believe he would be ideal for a wing-back position.

Supporters have previously debated Alexander-Arnold's optimal role, with some questioning his defensive abilities. However, Klopp has always maintained that such discussions are nonsense. "We are fine here because it's completely different because I see him differently, it's obvious," Klopp stated in September 2022. "There are stories out there all the time that talk about him and say he's not a good defender, but that's not true.

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"He is a good defender. He doesn't always defend well, that is true as well, but that is what we're working on. He is a young player. From my perspective, it's an easy choice. No matter which team I was coaching at the moment, I would sign him because he is exceptional. Is he always exceptional? No."

Former Manchester United and England defender Gary Neville has stressed the importance of finding a regular spot for Alexander-Arnold in the England team due to his exceptional skills. Speaking on ITV, he said: "I think [playing him in midfield] works for now. The only thing I would say is that we could look back in five, six, seven, eight years if we don't get Trent Alexander-Arnold [playing] international football and regret how we have handled him.

"He is one player that I would describe as world-class at what he does - there's no doubt about that. He's unique in terms of his delivery [and] his set-piece play. We know Gareth loves set pieces. He'll have Saka with his left foot but he won't want to put Rice on set-pieces, so I think the idea of having Trent in there isn't just to get that second midfield player that beefs it up a little.

"Mainoo, Wharton and Gallagher are not ideal either and I do think he wants that second one in there. We're talking about Trent Alexander-Arnold here. No one ever doubts the fact that he's special. Really special. And we've mishandled special players for 20, 30, 40 years."

Despite having to make do with a place on the bench once again, Alexander-Arnold was still able to leave his mark on the game. The Liverpool man was brought on with five minutes of extra time still to play and, when the sides couldn't be separated, netting the winning penalty to send England to the semi-final.

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