Trent Alexander-Arnold and Jordan Henderson have both been called up to the England squad for the upcoming fixtures in September, despite their respective circumstances. Alexander-Arnold’s inclusion was expected, as he has consistently been a strong contender for the national team. Henderson, on the other hand, recently made a controversial move to Saudi Pro League club Al-Ettifaq, leading to some speculation about his international future.
England is set to face Ukraine in a Euro 2024 qualifier, followed by a friendly match against Scotland at Hampden Park, which will commemorate the 150th anniversary of their first meeting. For these matches, there was little debate over the selection of Liverpool players, with Alexander-Arnold being the only real contender from the club. Despite the availability of Joe Gomez, Alexander-Arnold’s impressive performances made him the standout choice for Gareth Southgate.
In previous matches, Southgate deployed Alexander-Arnold as a deep-lying midfielder against Malta and North Macedonia during the summer, and the young right-back delivered with a goal and an assist. It is possible that he could feature in midfield again for the upcoming fixtures.
Regarding Henderson, there were suggestions that his move to a lower-profile league in Saudi Arabia could impact his chances of being called up. However, Southgate has made it clear that a change in competition level would not automatically exclude players from his plans. As a result, Henderson has received a call-up to the national team. Since joining Al-Ettifaq, he has made three appearances for the club, wearing the armband and recording one win, one draw, and one defeat.
While some may question the meritocracy of Southgate’s selection process, the inclusion of Manchester United defender Harry Maguire highlights that it is not solely based on competition level. Maguire has been included in the squad despite recent criticism and off-field issues, suggesting that Southgate values his contributions to the team.
In addition to the senior squad, England’s under-21 team is expected to call up Liverpool’s Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott for their U21 Euro qualifier against Luxembourg. Young talents like Jarell Quansah, Harvey Davies, Luke Chambers, and Bobby Clark will also be in contention for the younger age groups, as their squads are confirmed on September 1.
Overall, the England squad for September’s fixtures reflects a mix of experienced players and emerging talents, with Liverpool’s Alexander-Arnold and Henderson both being given the opportunity to represent their country once again.