Alexander-Arnold ready for World Cup

BURTON ON TRENT: Without an international cap to his name and just 26 Premier League appearances, 19-year-old Trent Alexander-Arnold appears, on paper, to be a relatively risky choice for England’s World Cup campaign in Russia. But England manager Gareth Southgate is expected to give the Liverpool right back his international debut in Thursday’s friendly against Costa Rica in Leeds completing a remarkable breakthrough season for the defender. Alexander-Arnold’s opportunities at Anfield this year came earlier than expected after a long-term injury to first choice right back Nathaniel Clyne was followed by his replacement Joe Gomez also being sidelined.
Manager Juergen Klopp threw the teenager in at the deep end and the Liverpool academy product responded with some impressive displays — even when opponents targeted him, hoping to exploit his inexperience. The youngster said he sensed such targeting, particularly in the Champions League quarterfinal against Manchester City, which in many ways was his coming of age. City overloaded their left flank and constantly sought out winger Leroy Sane but Alexander-Arnold held firm and his attacking forays made a major contribution to a famous victory.
“I think with the Man City game it was blatantly obvious. But it is one of them where you live for the opportunities to show yourself on a big stage and they are the games everyone wants to play in. So you have to do your best and prove why you shouldn’t be the target,” he said. “The team is only as weak as its weakest link and if they see me as the weakest link then why can’t I be a strong part of the chain and prove that we are an unbelievably strong team. I think that is what we showed,” he said, reflecting on Liverpool’s 5-1 aggregate win against the Premier League champions. — Reuters