Roy Keane fires Alexander-Arnold warning to Southgate ahead of Euro 2024 opener against Serbia

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Roy Keane has fired a warning to Gareth Southgate over playing Trent Alexander-Arnold in midfield against the top sides, saying he will get “ripped to shreds.”

England kick off their Euro 2024 campaign against Serbia on Sunday night as they look to end their 58-year wait for a trophy.

The Three Lions will be looking to go one better having lost in the final of Euro 2020 to Italy on penalties at Wembley.

Keane sends warning to Southgate

Southgate’s side pretty much picks itself with the players available but one big question remains, and that is who to play alongside Declan Rice in midfield.

England have Conor Gallagher and youngsters Kobbie Mainoo and Adam Wharton as options, as well as the possibility of playing Alexander-Arnold in there.

Southgate has experimented at times with the Liverpool man in a midfield three in the build-up to the Euros and he will reportedly start alongside Rice against Serbia on Sunday night.

Trent Alexander-Arnold celebrates scoring for England.
Keane believes Alexander-Arnold will be found out in midfield against the top teams.

Alexander-Arnold’s quality on the ball is second to none but there are concerns about him defensively and off the ball, which you might get away with against the lesser sides, but not against the top ones.

Keane believes the Liverpool ace will be fine against the lesser sides but warned Southgate the 25-year-old would get found out against the top teams.

“It’s all about getting the balance right in your team,” Keane said on ITV Sport.

“They’ve got some brilliant individuals, we’ve mentioned that many times before.

“There are four or five players that would walk into any of the teams in this tournament but it’s getting that balance right.

“Talking about the defensive side of it, they have players who can go and win you football matches but it’s the problem with defending against the better teams.

“I think they’ll be fine in the group, I think Trent will be fine with his positioning in those matches, but it’s against the real top teams that I think he will be found out, very much so.

“In fact, I think he would be ripped to shreds if he plays against one of the better teams in central midfield, I don’t think he’d be up to it.”

Alexander-Arnold will earn his 26th cap for England if he features against Serbia on Sunday, and could play a key role for England whether in the starting line-up or from the bench with his game changing qualities.

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