Why a successful Euro 2024 could put Alexander-Arnold in the shop window

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With Liverpool preparing to enter a new era under new head coach, Arne Slot, Trent Alexander-Arnold is reportedly considering his future at Anfield this summer.

The boyhood Reds fan, who has made 310 competitive appearances in an LFC shirt, is said to be mulling over a switch abroad.

The 25-year-old’s existing contract expires next summer, with no reports of any concrete moves either way to extend his stay on Merseyside. On the flip side, if Liverpool are to extract any kind of market value from Alexander-Arnold, it would surely require a sale before the start of the 2024/25 Premier League season.

It’s likely to be a period of serious transition for the Reds, both from a managerial perspective and a player perspective. Virgil van Dijk and Mo Salah are also out of contract next June, so it’s likely that LFC could lose some of the old guard which helped them to the Premier League title in 2020.

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Could Real Madrid come calling for Trent?

Alexander-Arnold is held in high regard by the Anfield faithful, as well as the backroom staff, but if no agreement can be reached in the weeks after Euro 2024, then things may be heading in only one direction.

Real Madrid has been mooted as a potential destination, with a report in Spain even suggesting that Liverpool prepared to use Trent as a makeweight to acquire Rodrygo. The Brazilian forward is said to be valued at £86m by Los Blancos and is likely to fall by the wayside when Kylian Mbappe and Endrick join up at the Bernabeu to start the 2024/25 La Liga season.

In truth, most of Europe’s biggest clubs would be interested in a player of Alexander-Arnold’s skill and versatility. If it’s true that he’s is leaning towards trying his luck elsewhere instead of penning a new long-term deal at Anfield, this summer’s Euro 2024 finals will be a golden opportunity to raise his profile.

England boss Gareth Southgate has toyed with using him in a midfield role due to the relative inexperience of his other options such as Kobbie Mainoo, Conor Gallagher and Adam Wharton.

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Trent has been an assist king for the Reds in past seasons. There’s no reason why he can’t thrive in a three-man midfield alongside Declan Rice, whose positional awareness could allow Trent to foray forward in search of assists. His dead-ball specialism also explains why he’s priced at 20/1 to finish with the most assists in the latest betting odds for Euros 2024. In fact, only Phil Foden is shorter than Alexander-Arnold’s price in the England squad, which shows just how highly regarded his end product is.

Southgate’s decision not to pick former Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson or the out-of-form Kalvin Phillips leaves Alexander-Arnold as one of the most experienced midfield options for him to call upon. The fact that Trent has been handed the number eight jersey for the tournament is another indication of where the manager is planning to utilise him.

Is Alexander-Arnold going to solve Southgate’s three-man midfield puzzle?

Trent’s performance in the warm-up friendly against Bosnia & Herzegovina raised some eyebrows. He was dominant in the middle of the park, capping his fine display with a neat goal and playing in his more customary right-back role in the second half.

At international level, some question marks have been raised over Alexander-Arnold’s defensive qualities through the years. Is he defensively minded enough to play over Kyle Walker or Kieran Trippier?

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Southgate was the one who opted to try him in midfield for the Three Lions back in 2021 in a low-risk World Cup qualifier against Andorra. His passing range and vision are just two of the main attributes from which the manager believes England can benefit in midfield.

Mainoo had a chance to stake a claim for a starting berth in England’s final warm-up friendly against Iceland but all too often the game passed him by, further illustrating his lack of experience at senior international level.

One thing looks certain – if Alexander-Arnold solves England’s midfield puzzle and the Three Lions go on to have a successful tournament, Liverpool might have to up their contract offer further to tempt him to stay at Anfield.

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READ MORE: A history of Liverpool players at the European Championship

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