Gareth Southgate: ‘Trent Alexander-Arnold deserves place in World Cup squad’

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Gareth Southgate has said that he is excited about England’s World Cup squad and says that Trent Alexander-Arnold is in the squad on merit rather than due to his age.

The England boss named the 23-man squad this afternoon and included 19-year-old Alexander-Arnold for the first time.

“I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about,” Southgate said.

“It is a young group, but with some really important senior players so I feel the balance of the squad is good, both in terms of its experience, its character and also the positional balance.

“We have a lot of energy and athleticism in the team, but players that are equally comfortable in possession of the ball and I think people can see the style of play we’ve been looking to develop.

“The selection process has been over months really, it’s not just been the last few weeks. We feel the team are improving and we want to continue that momentum.

“The first call up for Trent Alexander-Arnold is well deserved. When we pick young players, it’s not just because they are young, it’s because their performances deserve it.

“We’ve also had a couple of injuries with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez, which is a huge blow for them personally and disappointing for us.”

England will play Nigeria in a friendly on June 2nd before playing Costa Rica five days later.

Cover Photo: Wembley by Georges-adrien Carcanis under license from CC BY NC-ND 2.0

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