erpool Trent Alexander-Arnold admits he has been “blown away” by his welcome to the England camp and the side’s buoyant World Cup preparations.
The 19-year-old had never appeared in a senior squad before being named in Gareth Southgate’s final 23 for Russia – a reward for helping Liverpool to the Champions League final.
A maiden international call-up can be daunting enough, particularly when it comes at the start of a potentially career-defining summer, but Alexander-Arnold has enjoyed a seamless transition.
If proof was still needed that England’s era of cliques and club rivalries was over, his experience could close the debate.
“It’s a lot more relaxed and a lot more together than I thought it might have been as an England squad,” he said in interviews with BBC Radio 5 live and talkSPORT.
“Coming in I didn’t expect the team to have such a good morale but I’ve been blown away about how close every player is with each other.
“I haven’t been in the set-up before. I wasn’t sure how it was going to be…if it was really strict or really laid back. It was going into the unknown. But all the senior players – all the players in general really – helped me become part of the team. I really feel involved and feel part of the squad.
“There’s people you quietly sit and watch. You want to see how they go about their day, you want to see what they do to make themselves better, how you can pick up little things every single day to improve yourself.”
Alexander-Arnold, who made his debut in the farewell friendly against Costa Rica, sees few major differences between the England dressing room and the one he has experienced at Anfield except for the fact everybody in the Three Lions squad speaks the same language.
Even then, he has found his Scouse accent a little too pronounced for some.
“The main difference is at the club there are language barriers, you’re not going to get that with the national team,” he said.
“It makes it easier that everyone speaks the same language, even though some of the players find it hard to understand me.”
Although England have been taking good care of Alexander-Arnold, he revealed his mother Diane has made sure to keep tabs over the phone.
“She checks up every day to make sure I’m wearing sun cream!” he said.
“She’s so into the details of everything. The whole family is like that, we keep well in touch and call a couple of times a day.
“For them to see you play in a World Cup would make them really proud and that’s one of the things that makes me work hard every day in training. To see them with a smile on their face and to be proud of me, that’s probably the biggest incentive for me in football.”
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