Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold has become the latest player to withdraw from the England squad ahead of their 2020 European Championship qualifiers against Czech Republic and Montenegro:
The Football Association announced on Wednesday that the 20-year-old has a back injury and manager Gareth Southgate will not call up a replacement.
"Trent Alexander-Arnold has withdrawn from the England squad and returned to Liverpool. The right-back arrived nursing a back injury and, despite progress in recent days, it was unlikely he would be able to play a role in the forthcoming UEFA EURO 2020 qualifiers. The 20-year-old will now continue his rehabilitation at his club leaving Gareth Southgate with a 22-man squad."
Paul Joyce at The Times noted how the defender has had the issue for some time:
Alexander-Arnold becomes the fifth player to withdraw from Southgate's initial 25-man squad. Manchester City duo John Stones and Fabian Delph, Chelsea's Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Manchester United full-back Luke Shaw have also returned to their clubs.
The news will be a further blow to Southgate as he prepares the Three Lions for their opening Euro 2020 games. Alexander-Arnold has emerged as one of the Premier League's best right-backs and looks to have a big future ahead of him:
The departure of the Liverpool star means Southgate will now use either Manchester City's Kyle Walker or Tottenham Hotspur's Kieran Trippier at right-back in the upcoming games.
Meanwhile, Liverpool will be hoping the injury is not too serious and does not sideline Alexander-Arnold for long, as they have some crucial fixtures on the horizon and, unlike England, aren't blessed with quality alternatives.
The title-chasing Reds face Tottenham Hotspur in their first Premier League game after the international break, and they also take on Porto in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League in April.