Gareth Southgate hails performance of Trent Alexander-Arnold in new England role

  • Southgate has praised Alexander-Arnold's performance in the win over Malta
  • Alexander-Arnold played in midfield once again for England
  • He donned the number ten jersey for the first time too
TAA played in midfield once again
TAA played in midfield once again / Neal Simpson/Allstar/GettyImages

England manager Gareth Southgate has praised Trent Alexander-Arnold's performance in the Euro 2024 qualifying win over Malta on Friday evening.

Alexander-Arnold was moved into midfield from right-back by Southgate for the 2-0 win, and the Liverpool star impressed in the role once again. The 25-year-old completed 92% of his passes, won five duels and recovered possession on five occasions in what was an all-action outing at Wembley Stadium.

Having largely struggled for gametime at international level as a full-back, Alexander-Arnold has recently become a key player for Southgate thanks to a successful transition into midfield with the Three Lions.

Speaking to the press after the win, the England manager was keen to praise the Liverpool man for yet another stellar showing.

"I thought [Alexander-Arnold] used the ball really well," he said. "He has some outstanding quality, him and Phil [Foden] in the first half were the two that really looked like opening the game up for us."

Trent Alexander-Arnold
Wearing the number 10 / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

Ahead of the game, Alexander-Arnold admitted that his attributes suited playing in midfield.

"In my teenage years I was a midfielder so it’s a position I have some knowledge of," the Liverpool star explained. "‘How to conduct myself and perform in the middle of the pitch is something that I’ve been tasked with and sitting down and watching and trying to learn and adapt.

"As for whether I’m a midfielder or not, my specific skillset is probably best suited to someone who plays in the middle of the pitch, someone who controls the game, controls the tempo, creates, breaks line, progresses the ball up the pitch so those kinds of skills you would say are suited to someone who plays in the middle of the pitch.

"You probably get more out of me from being in the middle and I’m able to show off that skillset as much as possible."

As well as playing a central role for England, at club level the 25-year-old has recently transitioned into an inverted full-back role for Jurgen Klopp's side, tucking into midfield to get his foot on the ball and dictate play.