England Unleashes the Creative Talents of Trent Alexander-Arnold in Malta
In a move that stunned some fans, Trent Alexander-Arnold donned the number ten shirt and started as a midfielder for England in their recent Euro 2024 qualifier against Malta. However, to the Liverpool player turned full-back-cum-midfielder, this felt like an entirely natural progression.
While it wasn’t entirely new territory for him under Gareth Southgate – he played there during a September match against Andorra – it was an opportunity to showcase his skills on a grander stage. And boy did he deliver!
Alexander-Arnold Shines as Part of England’s Winning Team
Playing alongside Declan Rice and Jordan Henderson in midfield, Alexander-Arnold put on quite a show for supporters watching from home. He showcased pinpoint crosses and lofted balls, energy and skill with possession, scoring one superb goal from twenty-five yards out in an easy-peasy-squeezy four-nil victory.
“I haven’t played [midfield] too much,” said the newly minted midfielder when asked about his performance following the game. “But it feels comfortable…it feels natural.”
New Avenue: How Playing Midfield Opens Up Possibilities For The Future
This is still early days for him playing this role at such high levels but according to Channel Four Sports News post-match interview after their win over Malta last Friday night he seems confident enough saying “It’s somewhere I can see myself playing. I want to make sure that when I get the opportunity, I take it.”
The Future Looks Bright For England’s Midfield
While this may have come as a surprise move by Gareth Southgate, there were already signs of Alexander-Arnold’s creativity during Liverpool’s club season towards the end of 2022-23.
Unleashed by Jurgen Klopp to roam free and play an attacking midfielder role with impressive results, this caught Southgate’s attention. It allowed him to tap into the player’s natural talents without needing him to revert back to his original right-back position when not in possession.
Southgate Trusts in Alexander-Arnold Creative Prowess
Alexander Arnold has always been known for his long-range shooting ability which was usually only seen at free-kicks but now he can express himself from open play too. This new creative role also allows England to exploit Trent’s long-range shooting prowess further up the field as well.
Future Qualifying Tests Will Be The Ultimate Test
This experiment will be put through its paces soon enough though as North Macedonia, Ukraine and reigning European champions Italy are all tougher opponents than Malta could ever hope to be!
“I’ve got no questions in my head [about whether Trent] can do it,” said Southgate post-match interview following their win over Malta last Friday night. “It is just learning some nuances of the role…he is very keen on doing it; he has enjoyed this project we talked about four weeks ago on the phone.”