Gareth Southgate could finally take Jurgen Klopp advice after Trent Alexander-Arnold talks

Gareth Southgate speaks to Trent Alexander-Arnold as the latter takes a drink during England's win over Bosnia and Herzegovina
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

Gareth Southgate has hinted he could use Trent Alexander-Arnold as a number six for England at this summer’s Euro 2024, indicating he may have taken Jurgen Klopp’s advice.

The Liverpool vice-captain was a standout performer again for the Three Lions in their 3-0 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina on Monday. England has just one more warm-up game against Iceland before jetting off to Germany ahead of the start of the tournament next week.

Alexander-Arnold’s position has long been a talking point with his national side, having been regularly overlooked by Southgate in his usual right-back slot. He has found more playing time in midfield recently though, and he could well find himself lining up alongside Jude Bellingham and Declan Rice this summer.

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With Bellingham shining for Real Madrid in a more advanced role this season, that could see Alexander-Arnold occupying a double pivot alongside Rice, something which Southgate is seemingly contemplating.

“Firstly he is enjoying playing in an England shirt,” Southgate said of Alexander-Arnold’s performance on Monday. “He has had a difficult international career in that because of the depth [at right back], we haven’t always been able to give him the football his talent deserves.

“But we have always been trying to find ways to do that and I think he knows that, so it was lovely to see him score, to have that moment, and to play with that confidence for England. We were all very pleased—it is a role that he is discovering and he is hungry to learn.”

Southgate added: “I talked to him about playing [in the six in a double-pivot] a year or so ago. We are going to have different challenges in this tournament and we are going to have to have different ways of solving problems that teams pose us.”

Southgate’s admission suggests that he may well have taken some of Jurgen Klopp’s advice on board. The former Liverpool boss was not too big a fan of the England boss utilizing Alexander-Arnold in midfield, insisting he was still the best right-back in the world.

Even then though, he did concede there could be a way to get Alexander-Arnold in midfield. “He can play midfield. More a six than eight,” he said in 2021.

Klopp’s stance did soften somewhat toward the end of his reign at Anfield, with Alexander-Arnold used in a hybrid role that saw him move into midfield when in possession. Not only that, but Klopp did experiment with the academy graduate in a holding role during pre-season last summer.

"Trent can play the position - it depends on who is on the left and right of him,” Klopp said last summer. “We really thought it was a very good and important thing to do this pre-season.” says: It will be interesting to see if Alexander-Arnold does get the nod for England in midfield this summer. Surely it is too good an opportunity to turn down a midfield three of Bellingham, Alexander-Arnold and Rice? If he does play as a number six, we’ll have to wait and see what that means for his position under Arne Slot at Liverpool next season.