Southgate opens up on Alexander-Arnold criticism, Kane’s future, Guardiola’s handling of Foden

Gareth Southgate opens up on Trent Alexander-Arnold criticism, Harry Kane's future and Pep Guardiola's handling of Phil Foden in Manchester City.

Harry Kane of England, celebrates with Gareth Southgate in 2018 FIFA World
Harry Kane of England, celebrates with Gareth Southgate in 2018 FIFA World | Photo Credit: IMAGO

Trent Alexander-Arnold criticism

England manager Gareth Southgate has opened up on speculations that Trent Alexander-Arnold would miss the European Championships.

The Liverpool defender has been in exceptional form in recent weeks, but it seems that he has not been able to earn Southgate’s trust for some reason.

But the England manager has now confirmed that his decision to leave out the young full-back during the last international break was an attempt to protect the player. His performances have been quite impressive in recent months.

Southgate has also hinted that he could use the Liverpool defender in the midfield because of his outstanding vision and passing range. He has heavily criticized for his decision to leave the Liverpool player out of the last few England games. 

He said: “Perhaps people didn’t like my rationale but, in my own way, I was trying to protect the player. In the end, maybe that didn’t work. When you make a decision like I’ve made, of course, there’s going to be ramifications to that. I accept that. But I didn’t want the player to suffer in any way; that’s not the relationship I’ve had with him since he was 17. We are where we are, he is a very good footballer that has never been in any doubt, and he’s with us next week, and we go from there.”

Harry Kane future

Meanwhile, the England manager believes that the speculations surrounding Harry Kane’s future at Tottenham Hotspur will not affect his performances for England during the Euros.

Apparently, the 27-year-old is focused on doing well for this country this summer, and the transfer speculations will not be a distraction for him.

He said: “I don’t ever need to have a conversation with Harry Kane regarding focus or professionalism. He has one goal this summer while he’s with us, and that’s to win a European Championship.

“I know how important that is for him at this moment in time. What’s going on at his club is a matter for him and Tottenham.

“He’s obviously made some statements in the last few days, so in many respects, that’s out of the way now. I am talking across the board here; I think it’s very unlikely to transfer deals will be done while we’re away.”

Phil Foden’s development

The England manager has hailed the job Pep Guardiola has done with Phil Foden this season.

The young attacking midfielder has been in breathtaking form for Manchester City, and Southgate believes that Guardiola has done brilliantly to develop the young player.

Initially, there were doubts whether Foden would get regular chances at Manchester City because of the number of quality players at the club. Still, Guardiola had done well to nurture the young player and gave him his chance when he was ready.

The youngster has developed into one of the key players for the Premier League club this season, and he has helped them win the Premier League.

It will be interesting to see if he can guide his side to a Champions League victory later this month.

“I doubt he’s peaking, which is unbelievably exciting. He’s had a fantastic season,” the Three Lions boss said.

“I guess we were all sitting wondering, ‘Is he is going to get his chance’ and ‘Is it going to be the right path?’, and you’ve got to say that Pep has managed that brilliantly.

“He has allowed him to develop. He’s able to train with the best coach in the world and work with some of the best players in the world…”