Gareth Southgate admits it is “heartbreaking” for Trent Alexander-Arnold to miss out on Euro 2020 but expects him to be fit for Liverpool’s pre-season.
The right-back was ruled out of this summer’s tournament having picked up a thigh injury in England’s friendly win over Austria in midweek.
Alexander-Arnold has had to battle his way back into the Three Lions squad having been dropped in March.
He was one of four right-backs picked by Southgate, who was keen to defend his selection choices.
But after Alexander-Arnold was ruled out of the summer showpiece the England boss expressed his regret.
He said: “It’s heart-breaking really for any player to get to the eve of a major tournament, be named in the squad & then miss out through injury. You know how rare these opportunities are”
It leaves the Three Lions with Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker and Reece James to pick from in that area.
Southgate has chopped and changed between playing four and five at the back.
The personnel he’s selected gives him the chance to do both throughout the tournament, but he is sweating on the fitness of Harry Maguire.
Manchester United’s skipper has been a regular at the back for England and is likely to partner John Stones if available.
However an injury last month ruled him out of his club’s Europa League final defeat and he is now in a race against time to be fit.
England kick-off their Euro 2020 campaign against Croatia on June 13.
Southgate expects Maguire to be available but is ready to trust his other options if need be.
He said: “It’s when he can slot back into the group & progress him… I’ve picked a squad on the basis if we didn’t have him, we have players to come. If he’s fit and available for us, that’s a bonus for us”
“With any injury it’s important to predict 100%. The medical team are pleased with his progress, especially the last couple of days.
“We know there’s always that risk but all of the guide is that he should be available (in the tournament)”
Jordan Henderson is another man who is looking to be fit in time for England’s opener.
The Liverpool skipper is set to play some part in England’s game vs Romania on Sunday and Southgate said the 30-year-old looks “visibly happier within himself”.
Jadon Sancho is also available having missed the 1-0 win over Austria due to a throat infection.