Football Expert & Columnist
Trent Alexander-Arnold played a key role in Liverpool’s opener from the midfield position. Could that he play there in future?
Last Updated: 05/07/20 9:19pm
Trent Alexander-Arnold’s future at Liverpool may lie in central midfield, in accordance with Graeme Souness.
The right-back, who has provided 12 assists for the Premier League champions this year, stepped in to midfield and picked out Naby Keita in the build-up to Sadio Mane’s opener in Sunday’s 2-0 make an impression on Aston Villa.
It was just the most recent example of the 21-year-old’s ball-playing prowess, even though Souness feels Jurgen Klopp may be reluctant to move him away from the right-back spot immediately, the Sky Sports pundit believes Alexander-Arnold could slot in to midfield in future.
“I think the boy could play anywhere in midfield,” Souness said on Sky Sports. “He started off as a central midfield player and saw an opening at right-back.
“You would be reluctant to simply take him far from where he’s because a large part of Liverpool’s attacking play comes from him and [Andrew] Robertson. They have high energy levels, so when they enter the last third, they can deliver.
“Looking at it now, you’ve just won the league, you’re the current European and world champions, so if it ain’t broken, why make an effort to fix it?
“But the modern defender today, at the very top clubs, needs to be able to simply take the ball and play and deliver in the ultimate third, why not?”
Heskey: Midfield is Trent’s natural position
Emile Heskey, meanwhile, believes Alexander-Arnold’s connection with playing as a midfielder in Liverpool’s academy has served him well at right-back and means he’d have little trouble adapting to midfield at senior level.
“If you were to ask him, he would be much more than pleased to play in midfield because that is, I might say, his natural position,” the former Liverpool striker said on Sky Sports.
“He gets more space in the wide areas and you begin to see the passing range that he has. But that passing range has clearly been developed over the years playing in central midfield.
“His decision-making probably comes from having less time when he was in central midfield. He’s had to be aware of what’s going on around him.”
“It’s a different game in there,” added Souness. “You are dodging bullets and elbows are up.
“If he is full-back, that he knows there’s nothing coming [to his right] when that he receives the ball.
“Full-back is a different position and you also get sufficient time there to possess your first touch, have it out of your feet and get your mind up.
“But he’s just like anyone when he gets a chance to deliver.”
Alexander-Arnold’s creativity in stats
There is unquestionably plenty of evidence to suggest Alexander-Arnold gets the qualities to thrive in central midfield.
The passing of play leading to Mane’s opening objective at Anfield on Sunday was not the initial occasion he is drifted inside from your right flank and the data underline their creativity.
His total regarding 12 helps this season will be second simply to Kevin para Bruyne in the Premier League, although he rates high third at the rear of the Belgian and Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish regarding chances developed (79).
Alexander-Arnold ranks next for anticipated assists, which often measures the caliber of chances developed, and your dog is in exactly the same place so it Opta establish as ‘big’ chances developed. No participant in typically the Premier League has made a lot more passes to the opposition package.
The numbers are typical the more amazing when you consider their position plus underline an amount of method and eyesight far over and above most key midfielders.
For Klopp, in addition they provide meals for considered on how Alexander-Arnold could be taken in the long run.
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