Roy Keane and Ian Wright have given their opinion on England manager Gareth Southgate deploying Liverpool ace Trent Alexander-Arnold in midfield.
Speaking on ITV (h/t Mirror), Premier League legends Roy Keane and Ian Wright have reacted to the decision of England manager Gareth Southgate deciding to use Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold in midfield.
The Three Lions took on Andorra in the FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifiers on Sunday night and Southgate made the bold decision to use Alexander-Arnold in the middle of the park for the game, alongside his fellow Liverpool teammate Jordan Henderson and Borussia Dortmund starlet Jude Bellingham.
Speaking after the team sheet was released, Keane insisted that it was a good move given Alexander-Arnold’s technical abilities, while adding that the quality of the opposition meant, experimentation shouldn’t hurt England.
“Yeah I think it’s no problem for him to experiment today. What we’ve seen with Trent over the last couple of seasons, question marks over his defending but when he’s got time on the ball he’s like a midfielder there. I think as a professional football player you have to be able to adapt and play different positions today against the opposition, it’s ideal for him,” the former Manchester United captain said.
🗣️ "He looked happier in that position"
Gareth Southgate on his decision to scrap his Trent Alexander-Arnold in midfield experiment at half-time pic.twitter.com/Lyr9Ouz5Qw
— Liverpool FC News (@LivEchoLFC) September 5, 2021
Building on that, former Arsenal striker Wright added: “As Gareth said his ability is outstanding and there for everyone to see. In a game like this, perfect for him to try it out. I think that’s really healthy for England.
“If a player like Trent Alexander Arnold’s ability can’t get that place in the team simply because the calibre of players we’ve got there but maybe we can put him somewhere else where he can thrive then, I think that’s brilliant for the squad,” the ex-England striker insisted.
England emerged victorious, beating Andorra 4-0 courtesy of goals from Jesse Lingard (2), Harry Kane and Bukayo Saka. The Alexander-Arnold experiment, however, did not entirely work out as planned. The Liverpool defender looked uncomfortable in his new position, and was far more convincing once he moved to his usual right-back position in the second half.
With a game against Poland up next, it will certainly be interesting to see if Southgate persists with this idea or decides to reinstate Alexander Arnold, who recently signed a new contract with Liverpool, to his usual right-back slot.