Trent Alexander-Arnold has admitted he does not know his best position after spending time in midfield this season.
A midfielder in his academy days, Alexander-Arnold made his Liverpool breakthrough as a right-back but questions over his defensive ability have seen both Reds boss Jurgen Klopp and England’s Gareth Southgate use him further forward in midfield.
Having started towards the end of last season as a tactical tweak at club level, Alexander-Arnold has played as an out-and-out midfielder at times this year.
Both Klopp and Southgate will have to decide where Alexander-Arnold’s long-term future lies, and the player himself has confessed he does not know where he should be playing.
“People are seeing potentially I’m more effective in the middle of the pitch,” he said. “That’s maybe the route going forward. But who knows? It’s not my decision. I can only get played in the position I’m told to.
“But with the conversations I’ve had, particularly with the manager here [at England], playing centrally in the middle of the pitch is something we want to look at going forward. That’s something that really excites me and I feel will get the best out of me in the [England] set-up. This is the most exciting time for me at England.”
Reflecting on his initial move under Klopp last season, Alexander-Arnold added: “When the manager showed me the inverted role, I saw it as an opportunity to show I can play in the middle of the pitch. You might get one game, it doesn’t work and you play the rest of your career at right-back. There’s nothing wrong with that.
“But I felt there is more to me playing in the centre of the pitch and saw that as my opportunity to show people what I’m capable of doing. I felt I could dictate and control from right-back, but this was another dimension to my game. How could I evolve? That was what I was searching for. An evolution for me.
“I don’t actually know what my best position is, though. It depends on the set-up. For Liverpool, as a full-back I have the freedom to get into central areas and to create from the right-half space and get down the touchline and put crosses in, create chances and get assists over the last five or six years.
“The set-up at England is different for what the manager wants from full-backs. Although technically it’s two different positions on the pitch, I think both systems allow me to get in the same positions. Having a licence to get the ball, dictate the game, control the tempo is the most important thing for a player like me. It’s not so much if I’m a full-back or midfielder. I’m a player who needs to get on the ball and wants to orchestrate the whole game.”
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