Jordan Henderson and Trent Alexander-Arnold could form an unlikely partnership for England this summer. Gareth Southgate admits he could experiment at Euro 2020.
Trent Alexander-Arnold is going to Euro 2020 after all. That didn’t seem likely back in March when Gareth Southgate left him out of his England squad.
That was a suggestion that the boss didn’t rate Alexander-Arnold all that highly – which we found mad. What’s not in doubt, however, is that the snub had a positive effect.
Alexander-Arnold was magnificent over the final two months, playing some of the best football of his career. We’re hoping his Euro 2020 inclusion helps carry some of that over into next season, in fact.
But while his upturn in form almost certainly led to Southgate changing his mind, there’s another potential reason – he could play in midfield.
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England’s squad has a quite incredible number of right-backs, after all. There’s Alexander-Arnold, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker and Reece James. We imagine at least one of those players is going to be a right-sided centre-back, however.
But that still leaves three players for one position. Now, in our mind, it would be insane to play anyone other than Alexander-Arnold there. Yet, it feels like the Liverpool star may be second-fiddle.
That does open the door to a midfield role, though.
Southgate says it’s ‘unlikely’ that Alexander-Arnold plays in the middle but that it’s something he will consider. The chance is there.
“Well, I think it’s unlikely,” said Southgate, per the Independent. “I think it’s possible in that he’s a good footballer who played there as a young player.
“We might have a bit of a look at him so that it’s an option we’ve assessed in one of the friendlies, perhaps, for a period. But we’ll have to see how those friendlies go.
“We want to see him at full-back first and give him the best chance of doing well. But we know within a tournament you might face any sort of injury crisis or need to make changes and to have adaptable players is really important.”
And with that, we might just seen an unlikely Liverpool partnership.
Henderson and Alexander-Arnold for England?
If you’re going to pick anyone to partner Alexander-Arnold in midfield, you pick Jordan Henderson. There’s no doubt about that. He’s a natural leader, the most experienced player in the squad, and the player’s teammate.
Not to mention the fact he’s also England’s best midfielder. Plus, you’d want the most disciplined midfielder you have to make up for Alexander-Arnold’s lack of positional awareness. He’s just not going to have that in a role he’s never played at senior level.
Quite honestly, we think it’s a duo that could work for England. They’re both fantastic passers over long distances, while also being two of the best pressers in the Premier League.
By no means should they be the duo for a big game but as something to try? Or as a pair wile you chase a goal? We think it’s worth a go.
We’d like to see it, anyway. And who knows? Perhaps Liverpool take inspiration from it next season.