Southgate backs Alexander-Arnold for midfield role at Euro 2024

Southgate backs Alexander-Arnold for midfield role at Euro 2024

England head coach Gareth Southgate believes Trent Alexander-Arnold is ready to start the Euro 2024 opener against Serbia tomorrow night.

As Mail Sport revealed on Monday, the national team head coach has been giving serious consideration to starting Alexander-Arnold, who plays at right-back for Liverpool, in midfield on Sunday as he provided his biggest clue yet that he will play the Anfield vice-captain out of position in his side’s first game here in Germany.

Asked if he is ready to start in central midfield alongside Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham, Southgate told ITV Sport: ‘We believe so. We think he can offer something we don’t have and give the team a different dimension. He’s really been diligent in understanding the role.

‘He has as good a passing range as anybody in world football. He’s been really invested in learning, understanding all aspects of the game in that role.

‘I’ve enjoyed working with him on that project for the last 12 months. His mentality and attitude towards it have been absolutely first-class.’

Trent Alexander-Arnold is ready to play in midfield and be a success, Gareth Southgate thinks

The Liverpool right-back has had a gradual apprenticeship in midfield and scored in a stunning performance against Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Liverpool right-back has had a gradual apprenticeship in midfield and scored in a stunning performance against Bosnia and Herzegovina 

Southgate is finalising his team for Sunday’s clash, with Bukayo Saka hopeful of shaking off his fitness concerns to be available to start the game.

Saka’s fitness had emerged as an issue heading into the start of the tournament after he suffered a groin injury in Arsenal shooting practice at the end of the season.

Read More

Trent Alexander-Arnold shows he has the vision to start alongside Declan Rice, writes OLIVER HOLT

article image

Southgate and his staff have been keeping a close eye on the 22-year-old before taking a final decision on the starting XI for the game against Serbia.

Saka came on as second half substitute in Friday’s loss against Iceland meaning he has played just 25 minutes of football since May 12.

Looking ahead to his fourth tournament as England head coach, Southgate added: ‘I’m as excited as I was for the first. Every tournament is slightly different and that feeling of the week before is very familiar.

‘There is a little bit of anxiety around the camp as everybody wants to get going but also excitement.

‘They’ve got great experience of big matches that they’ve come through together. That’s balanced now by new players with tremendous energy and excitement. Relationships are still forming in some regards and the group are getting to know each other very quickly. They’ve got a good feel about them.

‘We will be brave. you can see the squad we’ve picked. The profile of our midfield is going to be different and that will lend itself to a different way of playing.

Southgate claimed Alexander-Arnold has 'as good a passing range as anybody in world football'

Southgate claimed Alexander-Arnold has ‘as good a passing range as anybody in world football’

‘You have to view every tournament as your last chance. It doesn’t matter if you’re 19 or 53. You have an opportunity in front of you that’s gong to be your best chance and you have to take it.

‘I feel ready. I’m a better manager than I was six months ago and a year ago. Time will tell whether that’s actually going to translate into results. We’re here to win. That’s a really complicated journey. The first objective is always to qualify.’

Comments

No comments yet. Why don’t you start the discussion?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *