Manchester United legend Roy Keane has issued his verdict on Gareth Southgate’s decision to play Trent Alexander-Arnold in midfield.
Alexander-Arnold was handed a start further up the pitch for England this afternoon for the visit of Andorra to Wembley Stadium.
And that surprised a few given the Liverpool star’s usual position is right-back, but former Republic of Ireland boss Keane believes Southgate is right to experiment in a game England should – on paper – win comfortably.
He said on ITV Sport ahead of the game: “Yeah I think it’s no problem for him to experiment today. What we’ve seen with Trent over the last couple of seasons, question marks over his defending but when he’s got time on the ball he’s like a midfielder there.
“The quality of his passing, decision-making, we’ll see that today. I think as a professional football player you have to be able to adapt and play different positions today against the opposition, it’s ideal for him.”
Alexander-Arnold has been deployed a little further up the pitch on other occasions in his career due to the fact his strengths lie in getting forward from full-back.
Though, it is always going to be a little surprising to see him deployed elsewhere given how well he has done playing as a full-back for Liverpool.
The problem for Alexander-Arnold is the level of competition with England given the presence of Reece James and Kieran Trippier, two players who helped the Three Lions reach the Euro 2020 final during the summer.
With that in mind, the more positions Alexander-Arnold can fit into the better, the Reds full-back more at risk of missing out altogether if he solely plays as a defender given that intense competition.