Trent Alexander-Arnold has suffered an injury at the worst possible time — 11 days before England kick off their 2020 European Championship campaign — in the waning moments of the Three Lions’s 1-0 friendly victory over Austria on Wednesday.
There wasn’t even time for Alexander-Arnold to be properly subbed off as he appeared to suffer the injury to his thigh in the third minute of second-half stoppage time. ITV, the television broadcasters in England, claim that Alexander-Arnold said, “it’s gone,” as he walked off the field.
Liverpool has announced that Alexander-Arnold has withdrawn from the England squad for EURO 2020, and that he’s immediately starting a rehab program in the aims of preparing for the start of the 2021-22 Premier League season.
Losing a talent of Alexander-Arnold’s level is a blow to any side, but perhaps if there is one area of the team where England manager Gareth Southgate is best equipped to deal with such an issue, right back is his position of a half-dozen appealing options. Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier and Reece James are already in the 26-man squad, perhaps allowing Southgate to add a sixth midfielder to the group ahead of the squad deadline on June 11.
After the Austria game, Southgate indicated that Alexander-Arnold would be assessed as quickly as possible — quotes from the BBC:
“It’s not a good situation that he’s had to walk off in some discomfort,” Southgate told BBC Radio 5 Live. “We’ll know more details in the next 24 to 48 hours. It looks like a thigh injury – in terms of the full extent, we don’t know yet. It’s devastating, he’s worked hard to earn a spot here. I just hope it’s not too serious.”
Southgate was then asked if Jesse Lingard or James Ward-Prowse, two players who just missed out being in the final squad, would be called up: “Let’s see how Trent is and then we’ll go from there,” Southgate told ITV.
Midfielder Jack Grealish, who was icing his shin after playing a key role, was asked about the injury in his own post-game television interview, to which he relayed the following…
“I am not sure what has happened and it did not look good as he made his way off the pitch.”