Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold has been left out of the squad for England’s final match before the World Cup.
Having seen relegation from the Nations League’s top tier confirmed with Friday’s 1-0 loss in Italy, Gareth Southgate’s side go looking for a morale-boosting win against Germany.
England’s 28-man selection had to be cut to a matchday squad of 23 for the Group A3 fixture on Monday evening, with Alexander-Arnold the most eye-catching omission.
The 23-year-old was an unused substitute in Milan and the 17-cap full-back has struggled to transfer his Liverpool form to the international level under Southgate.
Alexander-Arnold’s exclusion casts fresh doubt over his chances of making the World Cup, especially as other right-back options Reece James, Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier have been relied upon more often.
“I think he’s a fantastic footballer and he of course adds, as a lot of the other players do, different qualities to the game,” Southgate said on the eve of the game.
“He does have a fantastic range of passing. We’re blessed with different profiles of player in that position.
“If we play with wing-backs, Trippier and Reece James are also exceptional with the ball, in different ways, and we’re always having to look at the full package with everything and assess the players on all of their attributes.
“They’ve all been to Champions League finals, some of them have been to latter stages of major tournaments with us, Trent’s won the league, Trippier’s won the Spanish league, Walker’s won the English league.
“There are so many good attributes about them, it’s a really difficult position to make decisions on, but we have to go with the ones we believe, and ultimately I’ll be judged on the outcome, as we know.”
AC Milan centre-back Fikayo Tomori, Southampton captain James Ward-Prowse and West Ham forward Jarrod Bowen joined Alexander-Arnold in being left out of the squad list published by UEFA.
Manchester City playmaker Jack Grealish will also be absent against Germany due to suspension.