Gareth Southgate believes he has finally found someone who can replicate David Beckham’s great passing ability in the England national team.
The United Nations League was another disappointment for the Three Lions when they lost 3-1 to Holland in the semi-final but one of the brightest sparks on the pitch was Liverpool fullback, Trent Alexander-Arnold.
The 20-year-old, who registered 15 assists for his club this past season, whipped in some delicious crosses during the last game against Ronald Koeman’s side. Southgate expressed a soft spot for the youngster, having watched him develop from a very young age.
When asked on whether the Reds fullback was the best crosser of the ball since Beckham, Southgate replied, “There’s still a bit to do defensively on positioning and awareness but he’s had some fantastic experiences already in a very short career. He’s heading in a really good trajectory.
“He’s his own player. His technique for his crossing is fantastic. In training yesterday he wandered down the other end of the training pitch with a bag of balls, put one down. They had a wall up, he whipped it round the wall into the top corner then just walked off.
“So we said: ‘OK, a bit of pressure training.’ He’s got great belief in his delivery. When he was taking his corners, actually, there was too much (whip) on them. But it’s a great asset to have.”
“Absolutely, mum came to the hotel the other day and I’ve met her before and she’s a wonderful woman,” added the England boss. “I think they feel part of the England family. I went to the States with him when he was Under-17 a few years ago, he’s a lovely kid. He’s very proud of his roots and he’s given a lot to his own community as well. He’s matured in that time.
“He got sent off in that tournament. When he was younger he had lapses of that. He’s 20 years old, played in two Champions League finals it’s an amazing start.
“His manager’s shown great faith in him to put him in the team at Liverpool, keep him in the team when he’s had a few difficult moments.
“That faith’s been repaid, he knows the quality he brings and the way Liverpool like to play by turning teams and the quality of his forward passing in behind opposition is huge asset for them. He’s, like all young players, been great that he has a manager with that faith in him.”