Trent Alexander-Arnold’s England debut gets royal seal of approval

Royal seal of approval: Duke of Cambridge presents Trent Alexander-Arnold with his first England shirt ahead of debut against Costa Rica as he wishes Gareth Southgate’s men luck ahead of World Cup

  • Duke of Cambridge meets England squad at their training camp ahead of the friendly tie against Costa Rica
  • Liverpool star Trent Alexander-Arnold will earn his first senior England cap Elland Road on Thursday night
  • Prince William will not travel to the World Cup as part of the government boycott for the Salisbury poisoning

England youngster Trent Alexander-Arnold’s forthcoming England debut received the royal seal of approval on Thursday as the Duke of Cambridge handed him the shirt he will wear against Costa Rica.

The 19-year-old will earn his first international cap at Elland Road this evening, where England play their final friendly match against the Central American nation before the start of their World Cup campaign in Russia.

A senior debut will be the latest leap forward in Alexander-Arnold’s meteoric rise and his new life as an England star was made all the more real when Prince William, who is president of the Football Association, presented him with his match kit.

The Duke of Cambridge stands in central along with the entire England senior squad and Gareth Southgate’s coaching staff

Trent Alexander-Arnold is presented with the England shirt he will wear on his international debut against Costa Rica

The 19-year-old Liverpool star is applauded by his England team-mates as he talks with Prince William on Thursday afternoon

Alexander-Arnold shakes hands with England manager Gareth Southgate amid applause from his team-mates on Thursday

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The Duke of Cambridge will not travel to Russia as part of the government’s reaction to the poisoning of Yulia and Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, so instead he went to West Riding County Football Association, where England are training, to wish Gareth Southgate’s men good luck.

Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed in March that ministers and members of the royal family will boycott the World Cup after the Russian spy and his daughter were poisoned by a highly toxic nerve agent. Investigators concluded that it was highly likely the attack was organised by the Russian state and 23 diplomats were expelled from the country.

So the Duke’s appearance at England training on Thursday will be the last time he sees the players until after their World Cup challenge has finished. The Three Lions begin their campaign with a group game against Tunisia on the evening of June 18 and hope to conclude it in the final on July 15. 

The Duke of Cambridge talks with England captain Harry Kane and manager Southgate during his trip on Thursday

The Duke of Cambridge talks with Southgate and Football Association chiefs Martin Glenn and Greg Clarke (right) 

Prince William talks to England and Tottenham left-back Danny Rose as part of a meet-and-greet at England’s training base

After handing Alexander-Arnold his shirt for Thursday’s match, he engaged manager Southgate and captain Harry Kane in deep conversation. He also shook hands with every member of the 23-man squad, including Danny Rose, who has recently been praised for bravely speaking out about his battle with depression.

‘It’s no secret that I’ve been through a testing time at Tottenham this season,’ said Rose. ‘It led to me seeing a psychologist and I was diagnosed with depression, which nobody knows about. I haven’t told my mum or my dad, and they are probably going to be really angry reading this, but I’ve kept it to myself until now.’

‘England has been my salvation and I can’t thank the manager and the medical staff enough. It was really hard, and being referred to a doctor and psychologist by the Spurs club doctor helped me massively to cope.’

Rose has also had to battle through serious injury in order to make England’s World Cup squad and he goes into the as the likely first-choice left back for Southgate. Rose played only 10 Premier League games for Tottenham this season, but did enough to earn a starting berth in the 23-man squad.

Prince William looks animated as he tells an anecdote to Tottenham’s Kane, Rose, Kyle Walker, Dele Alli and Kieran Trippier

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