Alexan­der-Arnold named in Eng­land World Cup squad

Times of Oman - - SPORTS -

LON­DON: Liver­pool’s 19-yearold right back Trent Alexan­derArnold re­ceived a sur­prise call-up for Eng­land as man­ager Gareth South­gate put his faith in youth with his fi­nal 23-man squad for next month’s World Cup.

Chelsea’s out-on-loan mid­fielder Ruben Lof­tus-Cheek, 22, was also given a seat on the plane to Rus­sia af­ter im­press­ing for Crys­tal Palace this sea­son.

Chelsea skip­per Gary Cahill, whose place had been in doubt be­cause of poor form, also makes the trip east.

How­ever, ex­pe­ri­enced goal­keeper Joe Hart and Ar­se­nal mid­fielder Jack Wilshere were both omit­ted from a squad an­nounced on Wed­nes­day via a so­cial me­dia video fea­tur­ing young re­cre­ational play­ers from around the coun­try shout­ing out the names.

South­gate broke with con­ven­tion by de­clin­ing to name a pro­vi­sional 30-man squad, opt­ing in­stead to se­lect his pre­ferred 23 well be­fore FIFA’s June 4 dead­line.

“I be­lieve this is a squad we can be ex­cited about,” South­gate, who put five play­ers on standby, said.”It’s a young group but with some re­ally im­por­tant se­nior play­ers. “The bal­ance of the squad is good, both in terms of ex­pe­ri­ence, char­ac­ter and the po­si­tional bal­ance.

We have a lot of en­ergy and ath­leti­cism in the team but also play­ers equally com­fort­able in pos­ses­sion.

“I think peo­ple can see the style of play we are look­ing to de­velop.”

For­mer national un­der-21s man­ager South­gate has cham­pi­oned young play­ers since tak­ing over in the wake of Sam Al­lardyce’s dis­missal and has named one of the most cal­low Eng­land squads ever to travel to a ma­jor tour­na­ment.

The un­capped Alexan­der-Arnold is the youngest squad mem­ber af­ter an amaz­ing break­through sea­son with Liver­pool, which will cul­mi­nate in next week’s Cham­pi­ons League fi­nal against Real Madrid. “It’s not just be­cause he’s young, it’s be­cause his per­for­mances merit it,” South­gate said.

Apart from Cahill, there were a few other play­ers breath­ing a sigh of re­lief.

Among them is Ar­se­nal’s Danny Wel­beck, who missed a chunk of the sea­son through in­jury but was named along­side Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy and Mar­cus Rash­ford in the striking depart­ment.

Left back Danny Rose was also se­lected de­spite play­ing only 10 Premier League games for Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur this sea­son.

With Hart’s in­ter­na­tional days now ap­par­ently over af­ter be­ing his coun­try’s se­nior keeper for the past three tour­na­ments, Ever­ton’s Jor­dan Pick­ford is ex­pected to start in goal in Eng­land’s open­ing match against Tu­nisia on June 18.

He will be joined by Jack But­land, whose do­mes­tic sea­son ended in Premier League rel­e­ga­tion with Stoke City, and Burn­ley’s Nick Pope.

The un­capped Trent Alexan­der-Arnold is the youngest squad mem­ber af­ter an amaz­ing break­through sea­son with Liver­pool

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