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Southgate admits Alexander-Arnold midfield role is an experiment

Gareth Southgate has admitted that his use of Trent Alexander-Arnold in midfield for England is an ‘experiment’ after criticism of the Three Lions’ performance against Denmark.

England drew 1-1 with Denmark on Thursday evening to miss the chance to secure qualification to the knockout rounds of Euro 2024, with Morten Hjulmand equalising for the determined Danes after Harry Kane’s 18th-minute opener.

 

Southgate’s side struggled to impose themselves on the contest, in a performance that had echoes of Sunday’s 1-0 win over Serbia, and question marks remain over the balance of the midfield.

Alexander-Arnold, who features primarily at right-back for Liverpool, has partnered Declan Rice for the opening two games in midfield and has divided opinion with his performances to date. The 25-year-old led England for chances created (3) but was slack in possession on occasion and the first player substituted as the England manager sought change.

Southgate admits his use of Alexander-Arnold is ‘an experiment’ due to the lack of options in a defensive midfield role, conceding that England are ‘not flowing’ as he would like at present.

 

“He’s had some moments where he’s delivered what we thought he would,” the England manager said on Alexander-Arnold to BBC One.

“We know it’s an experiment. We know we don’t have a natural replacement for Kalvin Philips. We’re trying different things and at the moment we’re not flowing as we’d like.”

Asked on his decision to take off Alexander-Arnold for Conor Gallagher, Southgate said:
“I wanted Conor [Gallagher] on. We needed energy, we needed to press better. Conor does that very well.”

Read – ‘Sign of a good team’ – Kane calm despite another flat England performance

See more – Trippier insists ‘there’s no need to panic’ for England after Denmark draw

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