Phillips 'surprised' by Alexander-Arnold snub but says he'll be in next England squad

Gareth Southgate’s decision to omit Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold from his most recent England squad was a shrewd one. 

That’s according to former Sunderland forward Kevin Phillips, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about the surprise move. 

Alexander-Arnold, 22, has been a mainstay in recent England squads but he was dropped from the squad that will play in March’s World Cup qualifiers.

Phillips was surprised by the decision but he isn’t reading too much into the call as Alexander-Arnold is sure to make this summers European Championship squad.

“I’m surprised, let’s put it that way,” Phillips told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs.

“He’s endured a tough season with Liverpool so I’m surprised. But do I see him not going to the Euros? 

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“I’d be very surprised if he didn’t go to the Euros. I think it’s a shrewd act from Gareth Southgate to take him out of the spotlight and take the pressure off the kid. 

“He is a good player but now he can give someone else the opportunity. Maybe he spoke to him and told him he wasn’t going to be in this squad but he’ll be in the next one and in the Euros squad.

“I’m not reading too much into it but it’s always surprising when one of your best full-backs doesn’t make the England squad but maybe there are other reasons.”

Alexander-Arnold has made 27 appearances for Liverpool this season while also featuring heavily in the Champions League.

The Reds are next in action after the international break when they travel to The Emirates to face Arsenal.

In other Liverpool news, a top pundit claims Celtic may reignite their interest in Ben Davies amid his total lack of game-time at Liverpool.