It was not the news England camp were hoping for so close to the European Championship. Against their warm-up match against Austria Liverpool’s 22-year-old right Trent Alexander-Arnold, who made his way back into the squad after being dropped from the England plan squad got injured and the following day he was ruled out of the continental tournament.
However, it was a blow for England that they could withstand, owing to their multiple options in the right-back position. Apart from Trent, Manchester City’s Kyle Walker, Chelsea’s Reece James and Atletico Madrid’s Kieran Trippier were the three other right-backs picked by Southgate for Euro 2020. Now the England gaffer has time till next Saturday to name a replacement if he wishes to. UEFA rules allow countries to replenish their 26-man squads right up until their first game in the tournament if someone gets injured or contracts Covid-19.
Now, former England goalkeeper David James thinks even if Gareth Southgate chooses not to replace Trent in the squad, England won’t face much problem.
“It is devastating for Trent that he was omitted from the squad not so long ago, then he fought his way back the right way by putting in some stellar performances with Liverpool," he told News18.com.
“I was at the game and I didn’t realise that the injury was that severe."
Trent was a late inclusion into what was already an extended normal squad from 23 to 26. It looks good, not looks good for Trent but it looks good for Gareth," he added.
England start their campaign on June 13, 2021, against Croatia, the team which knocked them out of the 2019 World Cup semifinals. Along with England and Croatia, Scotland and Czech Republic are the two remaining teams of Group D.
The former two teams are favourites to progress from this group and England are touted as one of the contenders for the title. The Three Lions are yet to win this trophy and the farthest they have reached is the semi-finals back in 1996. Last time around, Wayne Rooney-led England were knocked out by Iceland in the round-of-16 clash.
Despite their unimpressive track record David James is hopeful that Harry Kane and his team would go all the way and break the duck. “Problem with these kinds of tournaments is that one game ends your tournament. You need that little bit of extra. I think in the past we haven’t have enough players who could create that little bit of extra," he said.
“Attacking-wise we’ve got seven champions league finalists, two young cup winners in Germany (Jadon Sancho and Jude Bellingham), we have got Kieran Trippier who has lifted the league in Spain. We also have the Manchester City lot winning the EPL title.
Also, those seven players are from two sides who don’t play with an out and out striker means that they are trained in sharing the load. If you add a striker who could score goals like Harry Kane, I think we have got the potential to go literally all the way.
After England’s first match against Croatia, they play Scotland next on July 19 and the Czech Republic four days later.
Watch UEFA EURO 2020 - LIVE on Sony Ten 2 (English) & Ten 4 (Tamil & Telugu) channels from 11th June 2021