Trent Alexander-Arnold Studies John Stones in Hybrid Role

Trent Alexander-Arnold, a footballer born in Liverpool, has expressed his determination to constantly enhance his skills and has disclosed that he admires his England teammate, John Stones, as a source of motivation. Alexander-Arnold, who emerged from Liverpool’s youth team and swiftly gained recognition as an exciting right-back, has recently been designated as a midfielder in the England squad for the Euro 2024 qualifiers against Malta and North Macedonia.

The decision to position Alexander-Arnold as a midfielder arises from his difficulty in obtaining playing time at the international level, as Gareth Southgate, the England manager, prefers Reece James, Kyle Walker, and Kieran Trippier in the right-back position. Despite the ongoing debates on Alexander-Arnold’s impressive abilities in passing and attacking, there was initial confusion from Jurgen Klopp, the Liverpool manager, when Gareth Southgate decided to experiment with him in midfield in September 2021. Klopp famously expressed his bewilderment, questioning the logic behind converting the world’s finest right-back into a midfielder.

Nevertheless, since that time, Alexander-Arnold has also been utilized in a blended role for Liverpool, bringing an extra attacking element to the team’s possession play. When discussing his ongoing progress, Alexander-Arnold conveyed his enthusiasm for expanding his knowledge of the sport and analyzing various players and strategies. He specifically emphasized his admiration for John Stones and closely studying his game, describing him as exceptional and crucial to Manchester City’s achievements.

To improve his effectiveness in more advanced roles, Alexander-Arnold strives to integrate the playing techniques of traditional midfielders into his own style of play. He mentioned that he enjoys observing past players such as Sergio Busquets, Xabi Alonso, Andrea Pirlo, and Steven Gerrard, as they have always fascinated him. Alexander-Arnold admitted that he must modify his approach to the game when playing for England in contrast to his role at Liverpool.

According to the Liverpool defender, he practices and performs as a midfielder for the national team, with the exception of the Australia match during the previous international break. He believes that this opportunity assists in honing his abilities in central areas and gaining a better understanding of how to receive and conduct himself in midfield. Alexander-Arnold stressed the disparity between playing as a midfielder and a right-back, highlighting that his role at Liverpool grants him the freedom to either underlap or overlap with Mohamed Salah, whereas the position of a number six is more rigid. In Liverpool’s recent triumph over Brentford, Alexander-Arnold showcased his knack for making a significant contribution from the midfield, particularly by playing a vital part in Mohamed Salah’s initial goal. This pivotal 3-0 victory propelled Liverpool to the second position in the Premier League rankings right before the international break.

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