Trent Alexander-Arnold has admitted it has been “difficult to hide away” from the raging debate over his England future.
The Liverpool full-back was a shock omission from Gareth Southgate’s squad for the World Cup qualifiers back in March, as the Three Lions boss stated he had not been “at the level” he had been previously.
Since then, Alexander-Arnold has been in flying form for his club side, with football figures seemingly unanimous in their belief that he simply has to be selected for Euro 2020 this summer.
Now the Reds’ star has spoken out on his situation, but is adamant it has not affected him.
“I don’t actively go looking to find it but yeah it’s been everywhere,” he told
. “Everyone has an opinion on stuff like that. It’s there on Monday Night Football or Match of the Day and they are programmes I watch. There’s been a lot of talk about me and it’s difficult to hide away from it.
“But I’d say I’ve got a buffer of reading things and not allowing it to get to me. I can read it or hear it and then just put it to the side. It’s not that it upsets me or fires me up in terms of creating a siege mentality.”
Regardless of his good form, there are concerns Southgate has already made his mind up on Alexander-Arnold and may still opt to leave him out of his 26-man selection, due to be announced on Tuesday.
According to The Athletic’s report, Alexander-Arnold has had no contact from the England camp as yet, amid fears he will now miss out on the summer tournament.
Southgate does have a wealth of options at right-back, including Man City’s Kyle Walker, Atletico Madrid’s Kieran Trippier and Chelsea’s Reece James – but arguably none with the same attacking threat Alexander-Arnold presents from that position.
Alexander-Arnold has had to face criticism over certain aspects of his defensive game, with some of his performances this season attracting plenty of negative attention.
His role in the 1-0 defeat to Southampton in January came under particular scrutiny for the amount of times he conceded possession, while more recently he struggled in the away defeat to Real Madrid in the Champions League.
But for a player now operating at the top of his game at just the right time, he claims he takes any criticism with a pinch of salt.
“I came to understand that, even though a lot of people offer their opinions, there are only a select few whose opinion really matters,” he added. “Those are the people who make the decisions about your career and whether you play or not.
“Those are the people I listen to. Those are the ones I care about the most.”