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Alexander-Arnold revels in new role for England

Trent Alexander-Arnold admits his move into midfield for England has given him extra “excitement” when he plays for his country.

Alexander-Arnold sparkled as a right-back for Liverpool during their Champions League and Premier League triumphs, but was unable to break into the England team on a regular basis.

Strong competition from the likes of Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier and Reece James often kept him on the sidelines until England boss Gareth Southgate proposed a position change.

The 25-year-old has proved influential for Liverpool when he advances into midfield from right-back and Southgate believed he could shine further forward for England.

He excelled in midfield in England’s victory in Malta during a Euro 2024 qualifier last season and is expected to play in a similar role against the same opposition at Wembley on Friday.

“Since we spoke in the summer, me and the manager, about a midfield opportunity and to see if we could make it work, there has been a new-found excitement for me,” Alexander-Arnold told reporters on Thursday.

“It is a huge opportunity and it is one I am grateful to have, but also making sure I take it. It still early days, I haven’t had much experience in there so still learning on the job and about picking it up as much as I can when I am in there.

“It is exciting and I enjoy learning, I enjoy having that kind of understanding of the game, trying to understand different roles and positions and admire what people are doing in there.”

Alexander-Arnold has just 21 England caps but is now listed as a midfielder when Southgate names his squads, offering the Liverpool star fresh hope of a long international career.

Southgate was initially criticised by Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp for using Alexander-Arnold as a midfielder, but he has started to operate there for the Reds as well.

England have qualified for the European Championship next year with two games to spare and Alexander-Arnold hopes to be on the plane to Germany.

Asked about the conversation with Southgate over changing his role, Alexander-Arnold said: “Initially, that there would be opportunities in there for me and then it is up to me whether I take them on or not.

“That is what any player would want and I speak to the manager like I do at my club, we sit down and talk about football, watch clips and I try and get the best understanding of what I am asked to do.

“I can help the team win games, that is just what any player ever wants. I try and do that to the best of my ability and the message I have from the manager is to go and do that in the best way possible.” 

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