Lee Dixon has claimed that Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold should be England’s first-choice right-back over Manchester City’s Kyle Walker.
Alexander-Arnold, 20, replaced Kieran Trippier in Gareth Southgate’s starting line-up on Tuesday night when the Three Lions took a huge stride towards qualification for Euro 2020 with a 5-3 win against Kosovo at St Mary’s.
Although England’s defence looked far from impressive at times, in the attack, they looked as though they could always cause problems for the Kosovan side and Alexander-Arnold played a role in that.
Ex-Arsenal defender Dixon believes that while Alexander-Arnold is still improving the defensive side to his game, he is the best choice that Southgate has in the right-back role.
“Obviously [Kyle] Walker’s experienced and he’s not in the squad,” Dixon said on ITV on Tuesday night, as quoted by the Express.
“I think in the squad these two [Alexander-Arnold and Chilwell] are the best for me.
“Alexander-Arnold, his season last year was phenomenal going forward, he’s learning the game defensively.
“I’m a big fan of Chilwell as well at left-back, he’s going to be a top, top left-back.”
Dixon is right. Alexander-Arnold is a lot less experienced than Walker but in this England side it is clear that Southgate wants to play as many young players as possible and nurture them into a team that is capable of winning silverware. It’s clearly working. England finished fourth at the World Cup in 2018 and third at the Nations League in the summer just gone, so whatever Southgate is doing, it’s having a huge positive impact on overall performance. It remains to be seen how England perform at next summer’s European Championships but there’s no doubt that Alexander-Arnold, as long as he remains fit and in good form, will be in the squad. The fact that Walker wasn’t even in the England squad this time shows how Southgate views Alexander-Arnold. Liverpool’s £40,000-a-week [Spotrac] flyer is a superb young player who is only going to keep getting better as he continues to play for both club and country.