Alexander-Arnold set for REMARKABLE international role change as Southgate plans confirmed

Liverpool star Trent Alexander-Arnold is set for a remarkable international metamorphosis this summer with a starting place in England’s MIDFIELD for the Three Lions’ first European Championship match against Serbia on Sunday. 

Alexander-Arnold, 25, has fought his way up from being England’s reserve right back at his last two major international tournaments, missing the last Euros due to injury, to becoming manager Gareth Southgate’s preferred option to play alongside Declan Rice at Euro 2024.

He's Rice's preferred partner too.

Other candidates in the squad include Adam Wharton of Crystal Palace, Kobbie Mainoo of Manchester United and Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher. 

But Southgate’s plans for Alexander-Arnold were hinted at when England’s squad numbers were confirmed for the tournament last week. 

While Kyle Walker took the No.2 shirt as expected, Alexander-Arnold was handed the No.8, traditionally worn by an English central midfielder at major tournaments. 

It has been occupied in recent years by former Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson, who first wore it at a major tournament back in 2012. 


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But with Alexander-Arnold having effectively replaced his former skipper in the squad, he has now taken his number too. 

“A lot can change, obviously, but Trent was given the No 8 shirt for a reason,” a source told the Telegraph about Southgate’s selection blueprint. 

Last week Alexander-Arnold played in midfield during England’s pre-tournament warm-up game against Bosnia and Herzegovina before reverting to a more familiar right-back role later on, from where he scored his third international goal. 

Trent at a crossroads

It appears the homegrown talent’s career has hit a crossroad with a well-expressed wish to test himself as a midfielder. 

“The ability and the skillset I’ve got is best suited to playing in the middle of the pitch and you’ll get the best out of my specific skillset by playing me in the middle of the pitch. And I see it as an opportunity to show the world that," he told FourFourTwo.

Jurgen Klopp opted to utilise the 25-cap international at times in midfield last season, allowing him to step in and dictate the play when Liverpool had good possession of the ball. 

Whether this positional switch has any bearing on potential contract negotiations with the Reds remains to be seen. 

Alexander-Arnold is out of contract in 2025 with no breakthrough as yet over a new deal

Real Madrid are known to be keen on adding the Englishman at the end of his contract and whether Trent sees himself as a right back or midfielder could have a major bearing on any future decision he takes. 

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