Gary Neville tips Newcastle United star for England squad amid ‘joker’ Liverpool ace claim

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The Newcastle United defender was one of five candidates discussed for the right-back position.

Gary Neville has insisted Newcastle United star Kieran Trippier will be part of England’s 26-man World Cup Finals squad.

The former Atletico Madrid defender and Magpies team-mates Callum Wilson and Nick Pope were all believed to have been named as part of an initial 55-player selection by Three Lions manager Gareth Southgate. The trio will find out later this week if they have made the cut before travelling to Qatar for the tournament next week.

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Trippier has always been a firm favourite of Southgate throughout his time in charge, despite the right-back area being viewed as a position of strength for the England boss. But with injury doubts over Reece James and Kyle Walker, and the inconsistent form and questions over the defensive ability of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Southgate has some big calls to make before he finalises his squad for the first ever Winter World Cup.

Neville, who was capped 85 times during a 12-year England career, believes Trippier’s ability to play in both full-back areas will earn him a place on the plane to Qatar - but is unsure whether Alexander-Arnold will join him.

He told Sky Sports: “I look at that list, that right-back list. Reece James is fit, he’ll definitely take him. Kyle Walker is fit, he’ll definitely take him because he can play right-back in a back four and right-side in a back three.

“I think Ben White has to go because of his flexibility to play right of the back three and right on a back four. Trippier will always go because Gareth loves him and Gareth will think he can play left-back and left wing-back.

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“So you’re then talking about does Gareth want to take Trent (Alexander-Arnold) as a joker if we need a goal? Five right-backs is a lot. He won’t start him, I don’t think but will he take him as that person to bring off the bench if England need a goal. That’s the decision Gareth has to make.”

England’s first game at the tournament takes place in two weeks time when they face Iran in the opening group stage fixture.

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