Trent gives us  a unique option in  midfield.



Trent Alexander-Arnold shone

England’s 4-0 defeat of Malta in Euro 2024 qualifying; Gareth Southgate: “He has shown exactly what we think he is capable of and gives us something different from our other midfielders”

Gareth Southgate praised Trent Alexander-Arnold’s scoring performance in midfield against Malta, saying the 24-year-old gives England “something different” in the position.

Liverpool’s right-back scored a stunning goal from long range and produced an excellent pass to set up the opener as England cruised to a 4-0 victory, preserving their perfect start to Euro 2024 qualifying and putting them at the top to stay away from the pack.

Alexander-Arnold has excelled in a hybrid midfield role for Liverpool in recent months, but has been deployed as an outright midfielder against Malta, with Kieran Trippier in the right-back position.

Southgate praised his adaptability and said his starring role proved he can play the part, revealing that he first told her about his plans to use him there during a phone call four weeks ago.

A lot of what happens will depend on his club, because the fact that he partly plays with the ball there has helped his transition tonight,” said Southgate.

“What was nice tonight is that he’s getting used to receiving in tight spaces with his back to the goal and the players behind him, while he’s used to playing on the touchline, with the game in front of him. He really enjoyed doing it.

“I have no questions in my head. He can do it. He’s just learning some nuances of the role, especially off the ball, but he really wants to do it.

He liked the project, if you will. We talked about it on the phone about four weeks ago and I think he’s excited about it.

“He has shown exactly what we think he is capable of and gives us something different from our other midfielders.”

Trent: It felt natural | Carra: It’s becoming the norm

Alexander-Arnold wore the number 10 shirt during the game and enjoyed his new role.

“He’s still early, I haven’t played it too much, but it’s comfortable, natural,” he told Channel 4.

It’s a place where I like to play and where I see myself playing. It’s about getting into this team and trying to be a regular name on the team sheet. “Today was a good base to build on. I don’t care where I play as long as I play.”

Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher, meanwhile, has tweeted that he expects Alexander-Arnold’s switch to midfield will be permanent.

“This midfield role for TAA will eventually become the norm for the club [and] the country,” he said, adding that Alexander-Arnold could achieve “double-digit goals and assists” for Liverpool if he played a full season there.

Southgate impressed with debutant Eze

England’s win over Malta also meant a senior debut for Crystal Palace’s Eberechi Eze, who made a promising second-half substitute.

“It’s good for Eze to dip his toes,” Southgate said. “He’s only been training with us for a few days, so he still has to get used to everything. It’s a big step to come to a senior camp for the first time, even if it’s with the Under-21s.

“He’s an eye-opener about the level, the quality of the players, the intensity every day, so it’s a brilliant experience for him. He’s a great guy, he gives a lot of energy every day, which is great.”


Eze: England Debut Coming Soon

Eberechi Eze told Sky Sports: “It’s a great moment. I’m glad I had the chance, it’s been a long time. I worked hard for this and I’m glad it happened.

“I pray before I go [to the field] and I thank God for bringing me here and putting me in this position. I am grateful that I was able to leave today.

“I worked a lot, it was a long journey. If you keep pushing yourself and putting yourself in the right positions, opportunities will come.”


Southgate also got the start for Leicester’s James Maddison, who made just his third England appearance and put in another encouraging display. “With James, that role that he can drift into and the position he’s found for the second goal that he’s come in…that’s what it is,” said Southgate.

“He’s comfortable catching in those areas, he’s not as fast or strong as the others, but he finds a way to squeeze into those spaces and those tight areas. He’s a different kind of player.”

There was also praise for the collective effort from England who showed professionalism and maturity to sweep their humble adversaries

Of course, we know we have the qualities to win matches, but it depends on your mentality and I thought it was great from the start,” Southgate said.

“We tried to balance a few things with some experienced players who give you the leadership on the pitch and set the tone. That’s how they’ve been training all week. “Especially when we lost the ball, the reaction to winning it back was a sign that the team was in good shape mentally.

“Then, of course, really good quality for early goals, mostly, so yeah, we made it look pretty easy. That, as we know from last time, isn’t always like that here!

“We’ve been able to look into some things, we’ve been able to sign players, we’ve been able to let some players go, so we’re really happy with the night.”

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