'SCAPEGOAT' - Ex-Red slams Alexander-Arnold treatment over England Euro 2024 performances

Trent Alexander-Arnold was England’s SCAPEGOAT before their Euro 2024 campaign even began according to one former Liverpool player. 

Ryan McLaughlin, who featured in the Reds’ under-21s alongside the likes of Raheem Sterling and Caoimhin Kelleher, believes the homegrown hero is the Three Lions’ most creative player but is being mis-managed by Gareth Southgate. 

Criticism of England has ramped up following a drab 1-1 draw against Denmark on Thursday with Alexander-Arnold being singled out for blame by many pundits including Roy Keane. 

Southgate’s decision to utilise the Reds right back as his No.8 alongside Declan Rice doesn’t appear to be working out as the Euro 2020 finalists struggle to control their matches but he is far from the only issuing plaguing the side at present. 

In fact, Trent finished with favourable statistics following the Denmark game, creating the most chances for England and generally being efficient in possession. 

He was hauled off after only 54 minutes with Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher coming on as his replacement but it failed to rouse England from their tournament torpor. 

Despite Harry Kane’s general play being off the pace and Phil Foden to make an impact, it is nonetheless Liverpool’s Premier League and Champions League winner who has been marked out as the problem in the eyes of many pundits. 

However, Northern Ireland international McLaughlin, 29, disagrees with that assessment, stating that the die was cast to blame Trent at Euro 2024 before the tournament even began. 

“Trent was the scapegoat before a ball was even kicked this tournament,” he wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “There were worse midfielders. He’d be England's most creative player from right back yet they refuse to recognise that. Lol mad.”

Trent future uncertain

Southgate’s first-choice right back remains Kyle Walker while Kieran Trippier continues to deputise for the injured Luke Shaw at left back. 

Alexander-Arnold, 25, earned his starting place in the England lineup ahead of midfield specialists in the shape of Gallagher, Adam Wharton and Manchester United’s Kobbie Mainoo. 

However, Southgate has now opted to substitute Trent in each of the first two games, leading to considerable discussion over how he plans to use him going forward. 

It remains to be seen whether England persist with Alexander-Arnold for the third group game against Slovenia next week. 

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