Pundits convinced Alexander-Arnold’s future lies away from right-back

Date published: Monday 6th July 2020 9:01

Trent Alexander-Arnold TEAMtalk

Sky Sports pundits Emile Heskey and Graeme Souness believe that Trent Alexander-Arnold’s future at Liverpool may lie away from full-back.

The 21-year-old full-back stepped into midfield at Anfield in Sunday’s win over Aston Villa after Jurgen Klopp subbed all three of his midfielders.

And it was England man Alexander-Arnold who provided the incisive pass from a central area to find Naby Keita in the build-up to Sadio Mane’s opener in Sunday’s 2-0 win.

Alexander-Arnold has 12 Premier League assists this season and his cameo on Sunday¬†was just another fine example of the youngster’s ability with the ball. So much so that studio guests Souness and Heskey believe Klopp could switch Alexander-Arnold to a midfield role, where he played in the Reds’ Academy

“I think the boy could play anywhere in midfield,” Souness said on Sky Sports. “He started out as a central midfield player and then saw an opening at right-back.

“You would be reluctant to take him away from where he is because a large part of Liverpool’s attacking play comes from him and [Andrew] Robertson. They have high energy levels, and when they get into the last third, they can deliver.

“Looking at it now, you’ve just won the league, you are the current European and world champions, so if it ain’t broken, why try to fix it?

“But the modern defender today, at the top clubs, has to be able to take the ball and play and deliver in the final third, so why not?”

 

 

 

Heskey, meanwhile, believes Alexander-Arnold’s natural position is midfield and believes his willingness as full-back has helped him develop his game.

 

Natural midfielder

Trent Alexander-Arnold Liverpool TEAMtalk

“If you were to ask him, he would be more than happy to play in midfield because that is, I would say, his natural position,” Heskey told Sky Sports.

“He gets more space in the wide areas and then you see the passing range that he has. But that passing range has obviously been built up over the years playing in central midfield.

“His decision-making probably comes from having less time when he was in central midfield. He’s had to be aware of what’s going on around him.”

“It’s a different game in there,” added Souness. “You are dodging bullets and elbows are up.

“If he’s full-back, he knows nothing is coming [to his right] when he receives the ball.

“Full-back is a very different position and you get plenty of time there to have your first touch, get it out of your feet and get your head up.

“But he’s as good as anyone when he gets a chance to deliver.”

It’s not the first time Alexander-Arnold has been tipped to slot into a midfield role.

Jame Carragher suggested last year that Alexander-Arnold was one of the best young players in the world and claimed he could easily slot into a midfield role.

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