Gary Lineker has argued that Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold could fill an Andrea Pirlo-sized gap in the England midfield.
The former English international reflected on the ex-Juventus boss’ advice for the Three Lions, suggesting that the Reds right-back’s passing ability could be well utilised in the middle of the park.
“I know Klopp rubbished it recently saying ‘why would you play the best right-back in world football in the midfield’, but I’ve been arguing that I would play him in the midfield because I want to see him in the England team,” the Match of the Day presenter spoke on the BBC MOTD Top 10 Podcast (via The Boot Room).
“He used to be a midfielder and he only ended up at right-back by accident, his passing range is extraordinary.
“Andrea Pirlo said, he was critical, he said that the only thing England are missing is a player like Pirlo, funnily enough, but I think he could be that, because he can pass from both ways in the middle of the pitch, I might be wrong, but it was interesting to see Gareth try it, and he was good.”
The Academy graduate missed out on a spot in Gareth Southgate’s squad for the last batch of internationals due to injury but has generally been overlooked in favour of other fullbacks.
Whilst we can appreciate the attraction of playing Trent further up the pitch in order to, theoretically, get the most out of his passing capabilities, it’s not an argument that would appear to track well with reality.
When trialled previously in the middle of the park alongside skipper Jordan Henderson and Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham, the 23-year-old seemed to struggle in the role.
It’s an experiment that could (the operative word very much being ‘could’ here) work out in future if our No.66 were to be given a run of games in midfield, but it’s difficult to see the need for it – particularly given the fact that it would only be benefitting the national side.