With Trent Alexander-Arnold pulled out of the European Championship due to a thigh injury, England manager Gareth Southgate must decide who will take his place.
The Liverpool right-back seemed to hurt his left leg when clearing the ball downfield in the dying minutes of England’s 1-0 friendly win against Austria on Wednesday night. He immediately informed the England bench that he would not finish the game. He cautiously returned to the dugout with the England medical crew.
The Liverpool defender strained his hamstring late in Wednesday’s triumph against Austria. The Football Association announced on Thursday that he would miss the finals.
Southgate, who reduced his Euros team from 33 to 26 on Tuesday, now has a spot to fill after Alexander-Arnold suffered an injury in Wednesday’s warm-up win against Austria.
Mason Greenwood is also ruled out of the event due to an underlying issue, leaving Ben Godfrey, Jesse Lingard, Aaron Ramsdale, James Ward-Prowse, Ollie Watkins, and Ben White in contention for the position.
The Manchester United star is the favorite, having been one of the Premier League’s most famous players on loan at West Ham in the second part of the season. Lingard is the most experienced player on the international stage, having played for England at the 2018 World Cup. He is likely to be in better shape than the majority of the group. He was primarily considered as the squad’s most shocking absence.
The 23-year-old was an incredible selection in Southgate’s larger squad. Still, he was rewarded after a strong debut season in the Premier League. The center-back excelled during Leeds’ promotion-winning season two years ago, with his versatility seen as a valuable asset. However, while White can play a back three or back four, it was always thought that this event would be a bit too early.
Godfrey’s adaptability may have made him an enticing candidate for Three Lions coach Gareth Southgate, who would have been aware of the defender’s development through the England youth ranks. He was a regular with the Under-21s, appearing twice in their European Championship in March, and he grabbed the eye of Everton in a variety of positions. However, his lack of playing time compared to his competition at center-back would have been a factor.
The dead-ball expert has been in and around England’s camp since Southgate took charge, but he was not selected for the World Cup three years ago and has now missed out again. While the Saints skipper scored throughout the March matches, he has finally paid the price for Jordan Henderson’s return to fitness and the rise of Leeds’ Kalvin Phillips.
Southgate had suggested that Alexander-Arnold could also play in midfield, which could be the most unambiguous indication that England manager Gareth Southgate still has three right-backs. Reece James, Kieran Trippier, and Kyle Walker, who are capable of playing in other defensive positions, Ward-Prowse is the leading candidate for the final spot.
Watkins was perhaps the unluckiest of the seven to be left out, with England only picking two center-forwards. He had a spectacular international debut in March, scoring against San Marino, and hit 14 times in his season in the Premier League. However, the former Brentford striker did not cut, with more adaptable alternatives in attack chosen instead.