Trent Alexander-Arnold’s days as a standard right-back may be coming to an end after an impressive display in England’s midfield.
Eyebrows were raised ahead of a Euro 2024 qualifier against Malta when the Liverpool defender was given the no.10 shirt, but it soon became clear why.
Pulling the strings in midfield, an excellent lofted pass to Bukayo Saka resulted in the opener when Ferdinando Apap put the ball into his own net.
Then, just before the half hour mark, Alexander-Arnold controlled a clearance outside of the box before unleashing a bending effort past helpless goalkeeper Henry Bonello.
Speaking to Channel 4 post-match, he said: “I think my first touch was a little bit sloppy.
“I wanted to hit through the ball but I’ve set it outside my body and I just thought ‘go across the keeper’. As soon as I hit it, I knew it was going towards the goal.”
Having previously played the position for England against Andorra in 2021, debate raged between club and country over what the 24-year-old’s best position is.
Jurgen Klopp dismissed the idea of advancing his full-back, but after defensive struggles during the 2022/23 season, he moved the Liverpool academy graduate up the pitch into a hybrid role and became an attacking force for the Reds.
When asked if he can see his future in that role, Alexander-Arnold replied: “I don’t know. I think potentially.
“I haven’t played it too much but it feels comfortable. It feels natural, I will say that.
“It’s somewhere I can see myself playing. I want to make sure I am regularly on the team sheet and today was a good foundation to build on.
“Hopefully I am one of those players that can be used in a number of positions.
“I’m not bothered where I play as long as I’m playing. No matter what position I’m playing in, I will give my all and try and win the game.”
Alexander-Arnold has previously been behind a number of right-backs in Southgate’s pecking order, but he credited the manager for finding a way to use him
He said: “Regarding England, the manager has always tried to find a way to get me into the team and with the quality of the players who play in those positions, it’s been difficult to find that.
“I think the role I’ve been playing with club football, it’s a new avenue. It’s still early doors, it’s only one match. But it’s important that when I get the opportunity, I take it.
“I enjoyed it. I love playing football and being on the pitch and representing my country. To play the full 90 minutes, I was happy.
“After the little break at the end of the season, it was about getting fitness back in my legs. I enjoyed it and I’ll remember that one.”