Trent Alexander-Arnold limped off towards the end of England's friendly game against Austria, putting his Euro 2020 chances in doubt.
Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold is an injury doubt ahead of the 2020 European Championships. The defender, whose very selection into the squad became a source of heavy debate, suffered an injury in England’s friendly match against Austria. Alexander-Arnold hurt his thigh and limped off towards the end of the game. England won the match thanks to a Bukayo Saka winner but the focus will now be on Trent’s fitness.
“It looks like a thigh but we don’t know the extent at the moment,” the England manager said afterwards.
“Clearly, it’s not a good sign that he had to walk off and looked in some discomfort with it but we’ll know more in the next 24 to 48 hours.”
England have no dearth of right-backs in the squad – or indeed, to select from. But the Liverpool right-back is among the best attacking full-backs in the country. Him missing the tournament would definitely be a blow.
The current squad itself features three proper right-backs. Chelsea’s Reece James, Atletico Madrid’s Kieran Trippier and Manchester City’s Kyle Walker can fill in at that position.
However, Southgate prefers a three-man defensive set-up, meaning Walker will most probably play in the right centre back position.
This leaves James and Trippier as the main choices for the right wing-back role. James has played there for Chelsea this season, including in the Champions League final which they won.
However, Trippier had a fine season at La Liga winners Atletico and possesses the attacking instincts and crossing to slot in at full back.
Going into the game against Austria, England’s major injury concerns revolved around Jordan Henderson and Jack Grealish. Grealish played the first half but was taken off in the second.
However, Liverpool skipper Henderson remained on the bench for the duration of the match.
“With Jack, we just felt that that was enough time,” Southgate said.
“I think you can see still a little bit of sharpness still coming and we didn’t want to overplay him through that period.
“With Jordan, we had hoped to involve him today. That was the original plan. This morning he wasn’t so happy with how he felt.
“We’ve scanned him just to be certain. There’s no problem on the scan so he’ll be able to resume training but we’ve taken a decision to leave him out of this game.”