REUTERS: Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said he did not understand England boss Gareth Southgate's decision to drop Trent Alexander-Arnold from the squad for their World Cup qualifiers and backed the defender to respond positively to the setback.
Alexander-Arnold was left out of England's 26-man squad for last month's 2022 World Cup qualifying matches against San Marino, Albania and Poland, with Southgate suggesting the 22-year-old's form had cost him his spot.
"If Alexander-Arnold is not in the squad then England must have an extremely good squad," Klopp said. "I was surprised he didn't get the call-up. I am a manager, I make decisions every day about team selections.
"I respect Gareth makes his own decisions but I didn't understand it because Alexander-Arnold was, in the last two seasons, the stand out right-back in world football - that is the truth and at an unbelievable young age."
Alexander-Arnold has been one of the players criticised for Liverpool's disastrous Premier League title defence this season, but Klopp believes the full back has returned to form after a tough start to the campaign that included contracting COVID-19.
"It took him a while to get into the season, but from the moment he was in, he has been one of our most consistent players," Klopp said, adding that Alexander-Arnold could benefit from the England snub.
"He was not with the national team, so he had time to train. He trained at an extremely high level and showed a reaction when there is no need to do so.
"He was really 'in' the sessions so that was good. He is very ambitious, I am sure he wants to be in the England squad and he will try everything to be there again."
Liverpool, seventh in the standings, visit ninth-placed Arsenal later on Saturday.
(Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)