Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka have been named to England’s 25-man squad for the UEFA Euro 2024 qualifiers, but Trent Alexander-Arnold of Liverpool has been left out. On Thursday, March 23, the Three Lions play Italy in their qualifying match at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.
Three days later, Gareth Southgate’s team plays Ukraine at Wembley. During their stellar campaigns with Manchester United and Arsenal, respectively, Rashford and Saka have been selected for the team. In 42 games across competitions, the former has scored 25 goals. He is having the best season of his career.
In contrast, in 36 games, Saka has scored 11 goals and contributed 9 assists. He is regarded as the best player in the Premier League by many given that Arsenal is currently leading the league. Alexander-Arnold, a Liverpool right-back, cannot play, though.
The defender made just one appearance at the FIFA World Cup in 2022. He has had a challenging season at Anfield, where his ability to defend has been constantly questioned. In 36 games, the Merseysiders fullback has scored three goals and provided three assists.
Ivan Toney, a striker for Brentford, has been included in the squad despite pleading guilty to multiple charges of violating FA gambling regulations. The Bees striker has scored 17 goals in 26 games, which is impressive.
Alexander-Arnold was not selected because of his team’s depth at fullback, according to Southgate. Ben White of Arsenal and the Liverpool right-back are notable absentees. Football Daily reports that the director of the Three Lions told reporters:
“It’s really the same as with Ben and Trent; three boys are in as right fullbacks just ahead of those two. Given the breadth of talent, we are fortunate to be in that position. The most difficult position to choose.”
Under Southgate, Alexander-Arnold has never really been a regular. He has been awarded 18 caps, contributing four assists and scoring one goal. In 2018, Southgate gave him his international debut.