Liverpool star urged to ‘retire’ following Kieran Trippier England ‘insult’
England manager Gareth Southgate’s comments about Newcastle United right-back Kieran Trippier are ‘an insult’ to Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold, according to one pundit.
The Newcastle vice-captain got the nod over Alexander-Arnold on the bench for England’s Nations League match against Germany on Monday night.
Afterwards, Southgate was quizzed on Alexander-Arnold’s omission and explained that Trippier’s ‘all-round game is ahead’ of the Liverpool star and is therefore above him in the pecking order for selection.
And with the 2022 World Cup in Qatar just around the corner, former Aston Villa forward Gabby Agbonlahor hit out at the England boss’ comments and urged Alexander-Arnold to 'retire' from international football until a new manager comes in.
“If I was Trent, I would retire from international duty if I don’t get in the World Cup squad,” he told talkSPORT. “I would retire until a new manager took charge of England. 100 per cent.
"What’s the point going away on these international breaks? You can stay with your club, rest and prepare yourself for Liverpool.”
Agbonlahor also felt it was a ‘joke’ for Southgate to suggest Trippier is a more complete player than the 23-year-old.
“For Southgate to come out and say Trippier is all-round better than Trent, I think that’s an insult,” he added.
“I do like Trippier but Trent is an all-round better player. Walker and James are better than Trent, but don’t say Trippier. Come on. The joke’s over, Gareth.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if he did retire because we’ve seen players in the past retire because they weren’t playing for England.”
Alexander-Arnold has been capped 17 times for England but only one of those caps has been at a major tournament, a World Cup group stage game against Belgium in 2018 with both teams having already qualified for the last-16.
The right-back missed the Euro 2020 tournament due to injury and his place at this winter’s World Cup is all but secure at the moment.
Southgate has historically preferred the more experienced options of Trippier and Kyle Walker with both players being dependable going forward and defensively. The emergence of Reece James at Chelsea has resulted in Alexander-Arnold dropping to Southgate’s fourth choice right-back heading into Qatar.