Walker and Trippier have both earned recalls of late having been dropped over the past couple of years, and Southgate has backed Alexander-Arnold to respond like they did and rediscover his best form before the Euros.
“There’s some areas of the pitch where we’ve got incredible competition for places and Trent’s very unfortunate,” the England manager said.
“I don’t think he’s played at the level that he found in the last couple of years, but I think he’s getting very close to that now. I think in the last few weeks he’s definitely taken steps in the right direction.
“It’s simply that we think Reece James, Kieran Trippier have had exceptional seasons really with their clubs.
“Kyle Walker is in great form with Manchester City, so we’ve got other players in the league who are also playing well in that position.
“(Matty) Cash at Aston Villa, (Luke) Ayling at Leeds, so it really is a position (of strength). We’ve got two very good right-backs in the under-21s. It’s a remarkable position of strength.
“What I said to Trent earlier today, I’ve made that same call to Kyle and to Kieran in the past and their response was a good one.
“They took up the challenge and they found themselves back in the squad and Trent is of course a super talent and he’ll I’m certain play a big part in England in the future.
“He misses out this time, but we could quite conceivably be sitting here before the summer and he’s with us.”
Southgate elaborated to talkSPORT: “We know he’s highly-talented player, but we just have some players that, in our view, have played better so far this season and with us in the autumn.
“Reece James was exceptional with us in the autumn and last night his performance for Chelsea sort of underlined that, I think, in a top-level game.
“Trent is very unfortunate. I think his game in the last few weeks has picked up a lot, he’s looking closer to where he was.
“He’s had an unfortunate season that started with him missing a lot of training because of Covid and the club obviously had a difficult season as well, so I’ve no doubt that he’s going to play for England in the future.
“As I said earlier, we could be sitting here ahead of the Euros with him back in the squad and that’s the challenge he’s got to respond to.”
Additional reporting by PA.