Former Liverpool striker Dean Saunders believes Trent Alexander-Arnold is currently “the best English midfield player in England” and “can do everything that Declan Rice does”.
Alexander-Arnold generated headlines last month after twice being used in midfield for England in the nation’s two Euro 2024 qualifying wins over Malta (4-0) and North Macedonia (7-0), scoring a long-ranged effort in the former and providing an assist in the latter.
Nominally an overlapping right-back, Jurgen Klopp utilised the 24-year-old as an inverted full-back in the season just gone, with the defender tasked with tucking in-field as a quasi-6 and dictating play. Klopp has also previously experimented with him in his midfield trident before (albeit briefly).
Such is Alexander-Arnold’s playmaker skills and capacity that his career has often been framed by the context of him eventually being converted into a central midfielder, something that Gareth Southgate now looks intent on doing for England.
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He flourished in the most recent international break, notably gaining plaudits for his distribution and door-unlocking vision, with one particular ball over the top to Bukayo Saka for England’s deadlock-breaker against Malta garnering particular applause.
Speaking on talkSPORT, Saunders said: “I think Trent is the best English midfield player in England – I think he’s better than all of them. If you play him in midfield he can do everything that Declan Rice does, everything, but also he can hit passes that Thiago hits.
“If I was Jurgen Klopp I’d buy a right-back and play Trent in midfield. Trent was brought up as a midfield player, he ended up at full-back. He knows what to do.
“You’ve got to have wing mirrors on when you play in the middle of midfield because you’re playing with your back to goal and facing the other way. I think he can do both. I think Klopp eventually will play Trent in the middle of midfield.”