Trent Alexander-Arnold has turn out to be a star at Liverpool as a right-back. However with Gareth Southgate switching England to a wing-back formation and Reece James impressing in that place towards Denmark, might Alexander-Arnold be the answer to the group’s midfield creativity drawback?
That was a suggestion posed by Sky Sports activities pundit Jamie Redknapp after watching James shine on his full debut for his nation at proper wing-back, regardless of England happening to a disappointing 1-Zero defeat to Denmark at Wembley on Wednesday.
Alexander-Arnold watched the loss from the stands, having performed simply 79 minutes through the worldwide break and never his greatest at proper wing-back towards Belgium.
Whereas England have a deep pool of expertise in that full-back/wing-back place, they’ve been criticised for missing invention in central midfield, with Southgate selecting Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips as his midfield pairing towards Denmark.
Redknapp believes Alexander-Arnold – who performed in central midfield as a youth group participant – has the attributes to step inside and reckons the 22-year-old might then take up related positions to Manchester Metropolis midfielder Kevin De Bruyne.
“I will throw one out right here now, what if we have been to play Trent Alexander-Arnold in that midfield place? Get him on that proper aspect [of the two central midfielders]. He might play there simply,” mentioned Redknapp.
“I am reshaping the group: you possibly can play Declan Rice on the again, Reece James at proper [wing]-back, Trent there.
“I feel get him on that right-hand aspect together with his high quality, his defence, his athleticism. Then you may get each [Alexander-Arnold and James] within the group.
“What I am making an attempt to see with this England group is getting good gamers in central positions.
“That place there, Kevin De Bruyne operates in that space as a result of he is aware of there is a house that will get vacated for somebody like him to do his magic.
“As a result of he is obtained such an excellent mind, Trent, he might play there. Proper-backs are so intelligent now with what they do they will play any place on the pitch. They see the cross, they will see the cross as properly.”
Not suited to wing-back?
Redknapp pointed to Philipp Lahm and David Alaba as examples of full-backs who’ve been profitable in midfield, and argued the position of a wing-back is completely different to right-back.
“With Trent’s skill as a right-back, it may not truly swimsuit him without any consideration wing-back,” mentioned Redknapp.
“I used to be speaking to Ashley Cole the opposite day and mentioned, ‘certainly you’d have cherished to play as a wing-back’ and he mentioned ‘no, I would not have favored it. I needed to return onto issues later.’
“He is such an excellent footballer, I’ve seen him play centrally generally for Liverpool. You can play him anyplace.
“When you concentrate on Alaba when he performed at Bayern Munich and Lahm, when he went and performed central midfield.
“We’ve not obtained that many high quality gamers in that central midfield place. I feel it is one thing you possibly can attempt to it’d work.”
Scott: James and Alexander-Arnold can push one another on
Fellow Sky Sports activities pundit Alex Scott, who gained 140 caps for England Ladies at right-back, agreed the challenges of full-back and wing-back are completely different however used the instance of Lucy Bronze as a participant who excelled at right-back however struggled to have the identical affect in midfield.
She believes James’ performances can truly elevate Alexander-Arnold’s degree greater, too.
“It is a robust one,” she mentioned. “It truly occurred with the England ladies’s group with Lucy Bronze. The most effective right-back on the earth.
“Moved Lucy Bronze into midfield and did not work. She was OK in midfield however you’ve got taken a world-class right-back and she or he’s simply OK within the sport.
“Without any consideration-back, I knew I had the house in entrance of me. I knew once I needed to make these runs onto it. So whenever you transfer, it is a completely completely different sport whether or not you are receiving along with your again to issues, having to play not far away.
“Really I feel the most effective factor is that they’re pushing one another to be even higher, making themselves go to a different degree.”