‘I do have my opinion…’ – Arne Slot will ‘talk to’ Trent about his positional role at Liverpool

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Arne Slot kept his cards close to his chest when discussing the positional role that Trent Alexander-Arnold might play at Liverpool over the coming season.

The past month has been dominated by discussion as to where the 25-year-old is most effective on the pitch, having started England’s first two games of Euro 2024 in midfield before being dropped for the subsequent two matches.

The Reds’ new head coach spoke to the media for the first time on Friday morning and he was asked about how he intends to use the vice-captain on the field.

Slot replied (via Liverpool Echo): “I don’t judge players by their best positions with their international teams as it is different to here. Different players, different roles. I do have my opinion about where they are going to play [for LFC], but I will talk to them first before saying it here!”

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Trent made his name as a right-back, becoming one of the best exponents of that position in world football, although Jurgen Klopp uncorked a bottle of discussion and debate by using Liverpool’s number 66 in a hybrid full-back/defensive midfield role.

A certain pocket of pundits continue to push the mindset that the 25-year-old is defensively suspect, which perhaps led Gareth Southgate to play him in the middle of the park rather than at the back for England.

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There’s an argument to be made that the West Derby native must be given licence to exhibit his game-changing qualities on the ball and exert his creative influence on the team, but the question remains unanswered about how best to grant him that scope within the overall 11-player unit.

There are strong rumours that Trent will play as a right wing-back for his country against Switzerland on Saturday as part of a switch to a three-man defence. If that comes to fruition, Slot would get an early glance at how Liverpool’s vice-captain performs in that role.

The new head coach mentioned to the press today that he doesn’t want his side to be pigeon-holed into a set formation, instead stressing the importance of allowing players the ‘freedom to take different positions’ on the pitch.

That suggests we could see the number 66 pop up pretty much anywhere on the field, but we trust in the boss to get the balance right and extract the best out of one of the world’s most naturally gifted footballers.

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