Arnold told to RETIRE from England duty until Gareth Southgate is replaced
Ex-England striker Gabby Agbonlahor has told Trent Alexander-Arnold he should consider retiring from international duty until Gareth Southgate is replaced as manager.
The Liverpool right-back, 23, is fourth-choice for his country and it remains to be seen if he will be part of the squad for the upcoming World Cup in Qatar.
Alexander-Arnold did not feature during the recent Nations League matches against Italy and Germany, with Chelsea’s Reece James and Manchester City’s Kyle Walker selected ahead of him.
And Southgate has confirmed Newcastle full-back Kieran Trippier is next in line, ahead of Alexander-Arnold, because he is a more complete player.
Southgate said: “The other night, we didn’t need the left-back cover. Against Germany, we did because of the way we went with the team so we needed Chilly [Ben Chilwell] on the bench and we had Kieran who, at the moment, I feel his all-round game is ahead [of Alexander-Arnold].”
Ex-Aston Villa forward Agbonlahor suggested those comments should be considered an ‘insult’ to Alexander-Arnold and urged him to question his international future under Southgate.
“If I was Trent, I would retire from international duty if I don’t get in the World Cup squad,” Agbonlahor 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.
“For Southgate to come out and say Trippier is all-round better than Trent, I think that’s an insult.
“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.”
However, Liverpool legend John Barnes pushed back on that argument and insists Alexander-Arnold can still play a vital role for England at the World Cup.
“I don’t think you should retire,” Barnes told talkSPORT.
“When you go with the England squad and there are more than 20 of you, only 11 are going to start.
“If the other players all said, ‘I’m not going because I’m not going to play’, it means only 11 would go.
“I think Trent is very valuable, depending on who you’re playing. He is a very creative, attacking right-back.
“When you’re playing against teams you should beat, Trent is your man, if you want to create and score goals.
“Then maybe, if you’re playing against Brazil or France, you play someone else.
“He should be in the squad.”