Liverpool star Trent Alexander-Arnold has opened up on his disappointment at missing Euro 2020 this summer, but admitted he was 'proud' to see his England teammates bringing so much 'joy' to the nation.
The 22-year-old was selected in the squad for the tournament, but had to withdraw after picking up a thigh injury in a friendly against Austria. The right-back then had to watch his teammates become national heroes, reaching the final before suffering penalty shootout heartbreak against Italy.
“I was gutted I was missing out but at the same time you’re watching your mates achieve special things for the country,” Alexander-Arnold said.
“It was tough, I’d put in a lot of hard work and I felt sorry for myself for a little bit but after a few days you get over it.
“I was getting back fit – and soaking up a bit of sun – in Portugal with the Liverpool physio and I was proud watching on, seeing the joy in people’s faces.
“At the last World Cup I was in that bubble so you don’t really know what it’s like but when you’re outside and get to see the support for the lads first-hand it’s incredible. To see the whole country get behind them, it was moving for me.”
Alexander-Arnold's place in the squad for the tournament was in doubt after he was left out towards the back end of last season. He did make the cut however, instead sitting out with an injury.
The Liverpool star is in the squad for the current international camp, and hopes to play a part against Andorra or Poland in the Three Lions' World Cup qualifying matches.
Alexander-Arnold will be aiming to impress Southgate this time round, after admitting that his performances for the Three Lions have been 'mediocre' since becoming an England international.
“Since I’ve come into the squad, I haven’t really been the best version of myself. I haven’t put in the performances I’ve regularly produced for my club. I expect more from myself when I play for England. Hopefully, over the next week I’ll be given an opportunity and am able to take it.
“It’s about finding the level I demand on a daily basis. I’ve just not been able to reach that bar. I had a really good game a few years back in the Nations League third-place play-off against Switzerland but I just couldn’t hit the ground running after that. My England performances have been mediocre by my standards.”