England manager Gareth Southgate will likely wait till Monday to announce the replacement for Arnold as Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson are still nursing an injury.
England defender Trent Alexander-Arnold has been ruled out of Euro 2020 due to a thigh injury. The right-back limped off in the closing stages of England’s 1-0 win against Austria in a friendly match on Wednesday. The 22-year-old looked emotional as he was helped off the pitch. On Thursday, Arnold was taken for scanning and the reports revealed that he may be sidelined for six weeks. England manager Gareth Southgate can choose a replacement from the already selected five outfield stand-by players- Jesse Lingard, Ben White, Ben Godfrey, James Ward-Prowse, and Ollie Watkins.
“Trent Alexander-Arnold has been ruled out of UEFA Euro 2020,” a Football Association statement said. “The Liverpool player sustained a thigh injury in the closing stages of Wednesday’s 1-0 win against Austria in Middlesbrough.
“A scan on Thursday confirmed the 22-year-old will be unable to play in the forthcoming tournament so has withdrawn from the England squad to return to his club for rehabilitation. Gareth Southgate will not confirm a replacement until after Sunday’s return to the Riverside Stadium for the warm-up fixture against Romania.”
The Liverpool defender’s selection was a bit surprising as he had a poor start to the season but finished impressively for Jurgen Klopp’s side in the Premier League. England will play their first group game against Croatia at Wembley on June 13 before hosting Scotland and Czech Republic in the other games.
The Three Lions are well stocked in the defensive position, with five full-backs and four centre-backs. Other than Arnold there are three other right-backs in the 26-man squad – Manchester City’s Kyle Walker, Atletico Madrid’s Keiran Trippier and Chelsea’s Reece James. Therefore Southgate might not be too interested to make a like-for-like replacement.
Among the stand-bys, Everton’s Godfrey and Brighton’s White are the available defenders. Both are 23-years-old and prefer to play at the center-back position but have shown their versatility for their respective clubs.
Meanwhile, Jesse Lingard and Ward-Prowse are the midfielders, Lingard is more of an attack minded player who can provide support to Harry Kane, whereas Ward-Prowse is an orthodox central midfielder who can pull the strings and also do the defensive duty. Since Jordan Henderson hasn’t yet fully recovered from a groin injury, Southgate will keep an eye on Ward-Prowse.
Ollie Watkins is the only striker in the stand-by list. Since the forward line looks to be settled and after Saka’s impressive performance against Austria, the Aston Villa forward is unlikely to be considered at this point of time.
Harry Maguire is unlikely to be fit for the opener against Croatia and midfielder Jack Grealish who is back from a shin injury was subject to some rough tackles against Austria. Therefore Southgate will likely wait till Monday to announce the replacement for Arnold.