Keane and Wright react to Southgate moving Alexander-Arnold into midfield

Alexander-Arnold will line up in midfield for England in their World Cup qualifier against Andorra at Wembley, a position that could be where his future under Gareth Southgate lies

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Roy Keane and Ian Wright have reacted to Gareth Southgate ‘s decision to move Trent Alexander-Arnold into midfield.

The Liverpool man, a right-back by trade, will face Andorra in England’s World Cup qualifier at Wembley in a new role.

Alexander-Arnold missed out on Euro 2020 due to injury, but has struggled to cement his place in Southgate’s plans due to the competition in his natural position, with Kieran Trippier and Kyle Walker being preferred alongside Reece James.

With James and Trippier starting the Group I match, the Anfield starlet’s role will be to show his attacking ability down the centre of the pitch.

After the Three Lions manager explained his decision, Keane and Wright each had their say on the decision, speaking at pundits on ITV.

Alexander-Arnold’s England career has struggled to take off

“Yeah I think it’s no problem for him to experiment today. What we’ve seen with Trent over the last couple of seasons, question marks over his defending but when he’s got time on the ball he’s like a midfielder there.

“The quality of his passing, decision-making, we’ll see that today. I think as a professional football player you have to be able to adapt and play different positions today against the opposition, it’s ideal for him,” said Keane.

Wright added on whether he was worried about the switch: ” No, not really, as Gareth said his ability is outstanding and there for everyone to see. In a game like this, perfect for him to try it out.

Keane believes Southgate’s decision to play Alexander-Arnold is midfield is “no problem”



Is Alexander-Arnold’s England future in midfield? Comment your thoughts below.

“This is something Gareth has to do because if he thinks we can advance to later stages of tournaments, semi-finals, finals he’s going to use him in this way then yeah it’s no problem.”

The Arsenal legend also believes the issue of fitting Alexander-Arnold into the starting XI highlights how strong competition for places is, describing it as “brilliant.”

“I think that’s really healthy for England,” Wright stated.

“If a player like Trent Alexander Arnold’s ability can’t get a that place in the team simply because the calibre of players we’ve got there but maybe we can put him somewhere else where he can thrive then, I think that’s brilliant for the squad.”

Southgate explained his decision to ITV pre-match, detailing why he trusts the 22-year-old to impress.

“Well we know he is an outstanding footballer and we’ve wanted to look at him in midfield for a little while, we feel today is a good opportunity,” he explained.

“He is fabulous with the ball, in particular at club level, he’s been interchanging with Harvey Elliott appearing inside the pitch, so we’ll be hoping maybe he’s a little bit more comfortable in those areas than he maybe was last year.

“But he’s got to play the role his own way we’re quite happy for him to go wide and deliver those killer passes.”

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