“His absence wasn’t a big shock really” – Pundit admits he wasn’t surprised by Liverpool star’s omission from England squad

Former Liverpool defender turned television pundit Phil Thompson has admitted that he was not surprised to see Trent Alexander-Arnold snubbed by England manager Gareth Southgate.

Southgate opted to overlook the creative right-back as he named his squad to face Italy and Ukraine in the UEFA European Championship qualifiers.

Thompson has insisted that it was hardly a surprise for him to see the Liverpool number 66 not being picked by the Three Lions.

Thompson has claimed that Alexander-Arnold has not been at his best of late and both Reece James and Kieran Trippier deserve to be picked ahead of him. Thompson said, as quoted by The Daily Star:

“I’m not really surprised about Trent being omitted from the squad. Reece James was fit, along with Kieran Trippier. James had returned back from a long-term injury and Trippier is coming back into a bit of form. Trent hasn’t been great since the World Cup – his absence wasn’t a big shock really.”

Thompson has however admitted that he was surprised to see Arsenal defender Ben White not being called up by England despite enjoying a fantastic season. He added:

“It is a strange one. I don’t know what has happened, but he’s had a fantastic season for Arsenal. White is a great player and he’s been part of that wonderful run that they’ve been on. That decision was a little bit more of a surprise but maybe there’s more to come.”

Alexander-Arnold has not enjoyed himself this season for Liverpool, who have been extremely inconsistent. The full-back has not been as decisive going forward as usual this season, having scored three goals and provided three assists in 36 games.

Meanwhile, his defensive lapses have continued to hurt the Reds on almost a weekly basis for which he has been criticized by fans and pundits.

Former Chelsea skipper Gary Cahill heaps praises on Liverpool superstar

Former Chelsea defender Gary Cahill has hailed Liverpool centre-back Virgil van Dijk as one of the best players in the world.

Cahill said (via Liverpool Echo):

“Massive player. Early on in his career, I remember playing against him. He was at Southampton, almost learning his way there. Got his move to Liverpool. The rest speaks for itself, he’s obviously one of the best centre-backs in the world, I think. Seems a big character.”

The former Chelsea captain added:

“Quick, strong, aggressive, can play. Again, all the attributes you need to be a top player in European football, not just the Premier League.”

Van Dijk has been a key player for the Reds since his club-record £75 million move from Southampton back in January 2018.

The Dutchman has helped Jurgen Klopp’s side win a total of seven trophies, including one Premier League title and one UEFA Champions League title.

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