Tuesday, May 28, 2024
HomePremier LeagueAlexander-Arnold opens up on England midfield role

Alexander-Arnold opens up on England midfield role

Trent Alexander-Arnold has opened up on his adaptation to a midfield role with England and has said he has looked to learn from teammate John Stones.

Alexander-Arnold has featured in a midfield position during his recent England appearances, with Gareth Southgate favouring the Liverpool full-back in a more central role.

The 25-year-old has operated in a hybrid full-back/midfield role at club level, but is seen in the Three Lions set-up as part of England’s midfield group.

 

Ahead of November’s fixtures with Malta and North Macedonia, Alexander-Arnold has opened up on the switch and how he looks to England teammate John Stones as an example on how to combine multiple positions.

“I enjoy learning about the game,” Alexander-Arnold said, as per the BBC.

“Watching things, watching players, different systems, different teams, how different players play it and there are some players who play it really well.”

“I think as someone who plays the inverted, hybrid role – I don’t know what people call it these days – then it is obviously John Stones,” added Alexander-Arnold.

“He is someone who, for a long time, I have admired his game; he is exceptional, so I watch him a lot – clips or even when I am just watching City’s games, I will sit and focus on him.

“I have always admired him and I admire the way [Stones’ City team-mate] Rodri plays.

“He is pivotal in that team and someone who is massively underrated but like we have seen recently, when you take him out of the team, they are not the same. That just shows how important he is.

“I would say it is those kinds of players I watch, but there are a lot. I will watch players from the past as well – [Sergio] Busquets, [Xabi] Alonso, [Andrea] Pirlo, Stevie G [Gerrard] – those players I have always enjoyed watching.”

On the difference between his England role and club position, Alexander-Arnold added: “The conversations I have had with the [England] manager and the staff there, I go there as a midfielder, I train there and that is where I try and play on the pitch, barring the Australia game last time,” he added.

“It really does help me in that sense. I am not playing midfield week in, week out here but I am getting on the ball in central areas and knowing how to receive and conduct yourself and play a game in midfield is a lot different to at the side of the pitch.

“I think the way I see it and the way I am told and explained to play it [at Liverpool], it is almost when we have the ball I am midfielder and when we don’t have the ball I am a right-back.

“I think when the ball advances up the pitch it becomes more about protection and stopping counter attacks. It is more disciplined.

“When I come in as a right-back there is still [Wataru] Endo or Macca [Alexis Mac Allister] there, Fabinho last season, and their job is to stay as the number six.

“My job is the one who comes in and still has the freedom to underlap Mo [Salah] or overlap him, get into the box, shoot or cross, whereas as a number six it is more rigid.

“Your role [as a six], along with the two centre-backs, is to ensure that when the ball pops out of the box it doesn’t go into the striker’s feet and they can build from there.”

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