Trent Alexander-Arnold has revealed that it was Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp who revealed the ‘unbelievable’ news that he would be heading to this summer’s World Cup with England.
The 19-year-old Liverpool defender, who has enjoyed an impressive season for his club, has yet to make his senior England debut.
But he was on Wednesday included in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man squad for the tournament in Russia, which begins next month.
Jurgen Klopp told Trent Alexander-Arnold he was in England’s 23-man World Cup squad
The young Liverpool defender has yet to make his senior debut for Gareth Southgate’s side
Liverpool are currently in Marbella, training ahead of next week’s Champions League final against Real Madrid, and Alexander-Arnold has lifted the lid on how Klopp informed him of the good news.
‘It was an unbelievable moment to find out I was going to go to the World Cup, especially at a young age. It’s probably capped off a really good season for me,’ he told the club’s website.
‘I found out (on Wednesday) morning, just before we came out to Marbella. The manager came and spoke to me just as we were getting on the plane.
‘He asked me if I knew anything about the squad or anything yet. I said, “No” and he said, “Have you got anything planned around the time of the World Cup?” I was like, “No, no holidays or anything…”‘
‘On England’s behalf, it was nice of them to let the manager tell me,’ the 19-year-old said
‘He said to me, “OK, good… You’re in the squad!” It was a really proud moment. On England’s behalf, it was nice of them to let the manager tell me.’
Klopp has also spoken of his pride at the defender’s rise to the England senior team and how he loved seeing the pride in the youngster’s eyes.
‘It is nice, a nice story,’ Klopp said. ‘Gareth Southgate gave me a call this morning and told me that I am allowed to tell him, but then I had some press work to do and didn’t have time.
‘So, in the bus to the plane, I saw Trent for the first time. I thought maybe he knew already and someone else had called him. I had the honour of telling him and it was nice to see his eyes. It’s fantastic, it’s well deserved, what a season. What a season! Can you be too young? No. You can be not good enough – but he is good enough.
‘It’s just a wonderful little piece more which makes this season special, even before the last game (against Madrid).’
The impressive 19-year-old has made 33 appearances for Klopp’s Liverpool this season
‘I’m honoured, excited and feeling really proud,’ Alexander-Arnold said after the good news
Alexander-Arnold will fight it out with the likes of Kieran Trippier and Kyle Walker for a spot on the right of England’s backline, with Southgate likely to field a back three in Russia.
The 19-year-old has made 33 appearances for Liverpool this season, helping Klopp’s side finish in the top four and enjoy another incredible European campaign.
And after his fine year was capped with an international call-up, the defender paid tribute to all those who have helped him on his journey.
‘I’m honoured, excited and feeling really proud,’ he added.
‘It wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for (my team-mates) so I have to thank them, the manager and everyone else who has supported me along the way. I have to say a special thanks to everyone, especially my family for helping me get so far.
‘Everyone who has been there along the way, even going back to when I was really young, around the age of six.
‘Everyone who has played a part, I just want to say thanks to them because without them, I wouldn’t be where I am or who I am today. It’s a thanks to all of them. I hope they can all feel as proud as I do about getting the call up.’
Author: Nancy Parker
Nancy Parker is a five time Emmy Award winning journalist and seven time Emmy nominee who has spent almost twenty five years covering news in South Louisiana. She has anchored every prime time newscast at WVUE FOX8 during her twenty year tenure in New Orleans.