Ferdinand questions decision to leave out Tomori and Alexander-Arnold

‘It just feels like Gareth Southgate feels “I know who’s coming to Qatar”‘: Rio Ferdinand questions decision to leave out Fikayo Tomori and Trent Alexander-Arnold from England squad to face Germany in final match before they head to World Cup

  • Trent Alexander-Arnold and Fikayo Tomori left out of squad to face Germany
  • Gareth Southgate named his 23-man squad to face old rivals on Monday
  • Rio Ferdinand believes the England manager has decided on his squad for Qatar

Rio Ferdinand has questioned Gareth Southgate’s decision to leave Fikayo Tomori and Trent Alexander-Arnold out of his squad to face Germany at Wembley on Monday. 

Southgate named his 23-man squad to face the four-time world champions, leaving out James Ward-Prowse, Jarrod Bowen and Jack Grealish (suspended) alongside Tomori and Alexander-Arnold. England do not play again until their World Cup campaign begins in November.

Speaking on his Vibe with Five podcast, Ferdinand questioned Southgate’s thinking, expressing shock at the omission of the AC Milan and Liverpool defenders. 

Fikayo Tomori (C) has been left out of England’s squad to face Germany at Wembley

He asked: ‘How is Trent not in the England squad? What’s going on here?’

‘I can’t have it. I don’t know how he has not taken him. He’s not even in the squad I don’t understand, it’s either “I know what he is, he’s brilliant, he is going to play anyway”, or “He ain’t for me”, what is it?’

Frank Leboeuf, in the aftermath of England’s defeat to Italy that saw them relegated from group A of the Nations League for the next cycle, labelled Alexander-Arnold a ‘championship-level defender’, appearing to agree with Southgate’s apparent reticence to select him. 

Gareth Southgate has omitted Trent Alexander-Arnold from his squad for England’s final pre-World Cup fixture

Ferdinand believed such comments were disrespectful.

‘Are you winding me up? It’s disrespectful, some people get too disrespectful,’ he said. ‘Leboeuf defensively wasn’t the best by the way, so he’s got a cheek.’

Meanwhile, regarding Tomori, Ferdinand seemed as bemused by the decision to leave him out.   

‘That’s the question that needs to be asked. I can’t believe [it], Tomori has won Serie A, he is playing really well as an integral player in that team and can’t get anywhere near the squad.

Southgate has faced criticism for some of his squad decisions, not least his decision to not select Tomori and Alexander-Arnold

‘Let alone the team, he can’t get in the squad for the game. It’s not like we are sitting here and going “We’ve got an unbelievable amount of centre-backs to pick from by the way”, give him a go and have a look, see if he can do it.’

Neither Tomori nor Alexander-Arnold played any part in England’s defeat in Milan on Friday night, leaving Ferdinand to suggest that Southgate has already decided that neither player suits his needs this winter in Qatar. 

‘It just feels like for me Gareth Southgate feels I know who’s coming [to Qatar], I know who’s playing and these ain’t for me,’ he said. 

With England not playing again after the Germany fixture until their World Cup campaign kicks off against Iran on November 21, it remains to be seen what Tomori and Alexander-Arnold can do to get back in Southgate’s plans.

Rio Ferdinand has said that he does not understand the reticence to use Alexander-Arnold

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