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Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
Richard Garnett

Sven-Goran Eriksson urges Gareth Southgate to name Liverpool pair in England World Cup squad

Gareth Southgate should take both Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez to the World Cup in Qatar next month, according to Sven-Goran Eriksson.

England boss Southgate is expected to announce a provisional tournament squad this week before dwindling it down to a final 26-man group on November 10. Liverpool right-back Alexander-Arnold has been the subject of media scrutiny, having struggled for form at times this season and was also left out of the Three Lions squad that faced Germany in the Nations League last month.

But former England boss Eriksson, who took the national side to three major international tournaments, believes that the 24-year-old should still be in the squad for his distribution capability alone.

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Speaking to OLBG, Eriksson said: "Trent Alexander-Arnold is a big discussion, but I would take him because you can take 26. That’s new, before it was 23. If it’s a tight game against someone you think you should beat, I think he’s ideal because of his free-kicks, corners and his crosses. I’m not sure what Southgate’s shape will be, but Trent has been very important for Liverpool."

Alexander-Arnold has faced competition for a right-back berth from Chelsea's Reece James, Newcastle's Keiron Trippier and Manchester City defender Kyle Walker, who often operates as a right-sided centre-back. Walker and James are both battling to recover from injuries though.

Alexander-Arnold's teammate Gomez is also in contention, particularly after putting in a superb showing against Manchester City on Sunday, helping the Reds to secure a morale-boosting 1-0 win at Anfield.

Eriksson added: "Southgate has options in defence, especially full-backs. Walker may even make the World Cup. You also have Kieran Trippier, so I think whoever he chooses England will be fine in that position. Trippier is good on free-kicks, too.

"I like Trent a lot. I know he’s not the best in the world defensively but he’s a modern, attacking full-back. I would take Gomez, he’s a good player, he’s solid, he’s tough and he’s one of those who rarely plays badly."

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson is also likely to be named in Southgate's squad as part of his midfield options. The World Cup gets underway on November 20, with England's first group stage match against Iran taking place a day later.


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