Alexander-Arnold’s likely England replacement if he misses Euros through injury

After weeks of speculation as to whether he’d make Gareth Southgate’s England squad, Trent Alexander-Arnold’s Euro 2020 quest may have ended before it’s even begun.

The Liverpool defender was forced off in the closing stages of Wednesday’s 1-0 friendly win over Austria with an apparent thigh injury, 11 days before England open their Group D campaign against Croatia.

Three Lions boss Southgate told reporters after the game: “We’re going to have a little look. It’s obviously not good to see him having to come off in the way he did, but we’ll have to assess him over the next 24 hours.

“I think (it’s his) thigh, but the medical team are still assessing it. We’ll just have to see, it’s not a good sign to see him walk off in the way that he did, so we’ll know more in the next 24 or 48 hours.

“We don’t know the full extent, so the last thing you want is to see him come off in the way that he did.”

Much was made of the fact Southgate picked four right-backs in his squad, although one of those options, Kieran Trippier, lined up on the left side of defence for their midweek win over Das Team.

Jesse Lingard appears the most obvious option to come in from the cold if the manager decides against a like-for-like replacement.

The attacking midfielder played an hour on Wednesday despite missing out on the Euros squad and played a key role in Bukayo Saka’s match-winner at the Riverside Stadium.

Who should replace Alexander-Arnold in the England squad if he's not fit for Euro 2020? Let us know in the comments section.

Southgate explained prior to the game that Manchester United’s Lingard—who dazzled with nine goals and five assists on loan at West Ham this season—was worthy of his chance.

The England boss said: "He (Lingard) will play tomorrow because we've got (Jadon) Sancho ill and a lot of players not available and, for the balance of the team, he will start. He deserves that opportunity to go and show me that I'm wrong.”

James Ward-Prowse is an option to beef up Southgate’s options in the middle of the park should Alexander-Arnold be forced to withdraw.

Midfield is one area of the England squad that looks light on numbers, and the Southampton captain could be called up after scoring a career-best nine goals in the 2020/21 campaign.

Ward-Prowse, 26, was one of four players not picked for the Euros who featured against Austria after he replaced Declan Rice with half-an-hour to go.

Everton’s Ben Godfrey also came on around that mark to make his senior England debut, with Brighton centre-back Ben White introduced not long after.

Seagulls star White made the more significant impact on the outcome after he cleared Alessandro Schopf’s would-be equaliser off the line in the 92nd minute.

Both players suited up as makeshift full-backs for their respective clubs this past Premier League season, giving Southgate a potential headache if he’s to decide between the pair for a call-up.

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Kyle Walker, Reece James or Trippier are the obvious choices at right-back if Southgate sticks with a four-man defence, but Godfrey or White could allow for more flexibility at the back.

Captain Harry Kane is one of the rare certainties to start for England at Euro 2020, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Marcus Rashford his current deputies in the striker position.

However, Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins may be brought into the squad in the event Southgate adds another attacker to the mix, having netted 14 league goals in his first top-flight campaign.

Watkins also played 30 minutes against Austria and will hope to feature again in Sunday’s friendly at home to Romania, England’s final warm-up game before they head to the Euros.

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