Trent Alexander-Arnold in line for double boost after England squad number announcement

Liverpool star Trent Alexander-Arnold's new role and importance to the England national team has been all-but confirmed following the squad numbers announcement for this summers European Championships.

As revealed by the FA on Saturday, the Reds' No.66 will don the number 8 - which is usually reserved for a midfielder - for the Three Lions. Now, this is the latest hint that the he will be deployed by Gareth Southgate in the middle of the park during the tournament in Germany.

Not named as a defender in the official squad list, Alexander-Arnold started in the engine room for England in their 3-0 win over Bosnia & Herzegovina last week, although he did end the game in his more well-known right-back role and played the last 26 minutes there against Iceland on Friday night.

However, taking his shirt number decision into account, it would appear that the Liverpool star will be given the opportunity in midfield alongside Arsenal's Declan Rice.

Furthermore, it seems Alexander-Arnold will be named in the England starting XI for their Group C opener against Serbia next Sunday as the shirt number theory suggests 1-11 represents what Southgate believes is his best team when every player is fit and available for selection.

Of course, Manchester United's Luke Shaw is expected to miss the first game due to a lack of fitness but there's every chance Jordan Pickford, Kyle Walker, John Stones, Marc Guehi, Rice, Bukayo Saka, Jude Bellingham, Harry Kane and Phil Foden join Alexander-Arnold in the XI in a bid to get off to the perfect start.

Rice: Alexander-Arnold is special

Rice, Alexander-Arnold's likely midfield partner for England, is well aware of the quality the Liverpool possess and stated the 25-year-old has a key role to play for the national team at the Euros.

"He’s special. We all know Trent’s skill set - his passing, the way he sees a pass, that right-sided [midfield] position suits him beautifully," he said. "He can come in on to his favourite right side and see that pass like he does for Liverpool. It really does suit him, that role, but he went to right-back for the last 20 minutes [on Monday] and looked just as good there.

"He’s a player any country would appreciate. He’s a player we have to play, we have to get involved, and our attackers should be thriving playing off someone like Trent because his passing is off the scale."

Having been overlooked in favour of Walker at Kieran Trippier at right-back for England at recent tournaments, it would appear that Southgate is finally willing to trust Alexander-Arnold - albeit in a midfield role - and a start against Serbia looks likely judging by the shirt number announcement.

Elsewhere from a Liverpool perspective, Joe Gomez will wear number 22 at the Euros. The versatile defender is an option across the backline but isn't expected to start against Serbia unless a defensive crisis emerges.

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