Jurgen Klopp couldn't understand Gareth Southgate's Trent Alexander-Arnold decision

Trent Alexander-Arnold with Gareth Southgate after coming off in England's Euro 2024 opener against Serbia
-Credit: (Image: PA Media)

Gareth Southgate left Jurgen Klopp baffled with his use of Trent Alexander-Arnold.

The Liverpool right-back was deployed in midfield for England’s Euro 2024 opener against Serbia, which ended in an unconvincing 1-0 win. Alexander-Arnold joined Declan Rice in the centre of the park, with Southgate keen to utilise his immense passing range.

Opinion is largely split on whether he can be an effective midfielder for the national team long-term. It certainly wasn’t the first time Southgate had deployed him further forward.

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On one occasion, in qualifier against minnows Andorra in 2021, Southgate canned the experience after just 45 minutes, moving Alexander-Arnold back into a more familiar position. Addressing the debate the time, Klopp made his feelings clear.

“In this game, in a game where England are that dominant for example, or that we are that dominant that Trent could play in midfield, I would rather he was the six than in this case the eight,” said the German.

“That is possible but why would you make the best right-back in the world a midfielder? I don't understand that really.”

By last season, Klopp’s view of Alexander-Arnold playing in midfield had somewhat softened, although he was still adamant right-back was his best position. Klopp, whose squad was thin on midfielders at the time due to injury, said: “[A] possibility [that he could play in midfield], depends on the situation and the opponent, on a lot of things.

“We know he can play there but if we just put him there we lose one of the best right-backs in the world so we should not forget that completely. Of course he is an option for that position.”

Alexander-Arnold is set to partner Rice again against Denmark after positive signs in his attacking game, but moments of doubt defensively after he gave the ball away on more than one occasion.

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