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Trent Alexander-Arnold has conceded he “found it a lot more difficult” in midfield

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06 Sep 2021
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England

Alexander-Arnold has spent his entire career as a right-back for Liverpool, making a massive contribution in defence and attack to help Jurgen Klopp’s side win Premier League and Champions League honours.

Alexander-Arnold has also occupied the new position at the international level

Trent Alexander-Arnold has conceded he “found it a lot more difficult” in midfield during England’s rout of Andorra while revealing the decision to move him from his usual full-back position was an “experiment” from Gareth Southgate. Alexander-Arnold has spent his entire career as a right-back for Liverpool, making a massive contribution in defence and attack to help Jurgen Klopp’s side win Premier League and Champions League honours. The 22-year-old has also occupied that spot at the international level. Still, it has been suggested his long-term future could lie further up the pitch, and Southgate put that theory to the test in the Three Lions’ latest World Cup qualifying fixture. Alexander-Arnold completed 81 per cent of his passes from midfield as England earned a 1-0 half-time lead against Andorra at Wembley, with Jesse Lingard grabbing the goal.

It’s a new role for Trent

The Liverpool star also managed one shot on target. Still, he was shifted back into defence for the second period. Southgate’s side ended up winning 4-0 thanks to another Lingard effort, a Harry Kane penalty and a Bukayo Saka header. Alexander-Arnold has now admitted he struggled to adapt to the new position, telling reporters: “It’s a new role for me, a bit different, I think there’s been a lot of questions being asked whether I can or cannot play in there and a lot of opinions being voiced over the last few weeks.

“It was an experiment the manager wanted to try out, but it was difficult to get on the ball for me, I found it a lot more difficult to get on the ball in those spaces, but whether I’m starting in there or starting right back I think naturally I find myself drifting into midfield, getting the ball and affecting the game. In the second half, we changed the system a little bit, and I was able to find a lot more space and get time on the ball and get in positions that were fairly similar to playing in midfield anyway.” Alexander-Arnold’s appearance against Andorra marked his 14th cap for England and his first international outing, sustaining a thigh problem in a friendly win over Austria in June.

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