England experiment did not suit Alexander-Arnold, says Cole

Date published: Monday 12th October 2020 6:27 - Matthew Briggs

Trent Alexander-Arnold TEAMtalk

Former England left-back Ashley Cole does not believe the wing-back role suits Trent Alexander-Arnold.

The 22-year-old played as a wing-back for England in their 2-1 win over Belgium on Sunday night at Wembley.

Gareth Southgate opted for a back three of Harry Maguire, Kyle Walker and Eric Dier with Alexander-Arnold and Kieran Trippier as the two wing-backs.

After a difficult first half, England collectively managed to get higher up the field in the second period against the No.1 ranked side in the world. And a Marcus Rashford penalty and a strike from Mason Mount won them the game.

Alexander-Arnold did get the license to drift in field as Southgate opted to match up Belgium’s formation in an experimental XI.

However, Cole, who was capped 107 times believes the Liverpool player is better coming from deeper positions.

“I don’t like to see him playing as a wing-back,” Cole said on Sky Sports.

“With Alexander-Arnold coming into that space, you start to see his range of crosses and passing.

“He did most of his work chasing the left wing-back, trying to get in behind him, which I don’t think suits him.”

It’s not the first time that a change of position has been mooted for the Liverpool star, who managed 13 Premier League assists last season.

Midfielder in the making

Jamie Carragher claimed he could eventually become a midfielder after watching him in action last season

“I saw him the Liverpool Academy and my son started there and was four, five years younger than him and Liverpool knew then they had a really good player,” Carragher told Nowergian TV in October 2019.

“Still there are very few players who you think will be superstars, but if you think about what he has achieved at this young age – a Champions League winner and another Champions League final. He’s probably one of the best young players in the world if you think about what he has done.

“If you talk about (Kylian) Mbappe and he’s won the World Cup, but as a defender and playing at this level and how important he is to the team, he is possibly the most creative player in the team from right full-back.

“He has a lot of responsibility at a young age and he’s not going to be a superstar, he is a superstar.

“His strengths are that he can handle the ball and he is the most creative player in the team, just look at his assists.”

“People talk about the future and could he come into midfield and be a Kevin De Bruyne type player and he has more quality now that Liverpool’s midfield players and you think about the crosses that De Bruyne puts in from the right midfield position and maybe that’s a position where Trent could play,” added Carragher.

“But at the moment you wouldn’t think about moving position because he is playing so well.”


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