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Liverpool Boss Jurgen Klopp Slams Gareth Southgate's Decision To Play Trent Alexander-Arnold In Midfield

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Liverpool Boss Jurgen Klopp Slams Gareth Southgate's Decision To Play Trent Alexander-Arnold In Midfield

Jurgen Klopp has questioned Gareth Southgate's decision to play Trent Alexander-Arnold in central midfield for England.

In the 4-0 World Cup qualifying win over Andorra on Sunday, Alexander-Arnold was slotted into midfield alongside Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson and Borussia Dortmund's Jude Bellingham.

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Chelsea defender Reece James and Atletico Madrid's Kieran Trippier both started at the backline, meaning Southgate fielded right-backs in the same starting XI.

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For a while now many had talked up the possibility of Alexander-Arnold moving into central midfield due to his technical ability and impressive range of passing.

Image: PA
Image: PA

But his manager at club level is not a fan, with Klopp critical of Southgate's positional switch for the 22-year-old.

"If you watch our games you will see that Trent's position already changed," Klopp said in his press conference ahead of the trip to Leeds United this weekend.

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"It is a shame that it is 2021 that we still talk about this in football.

"When England or we are that dominant then Trent could play midfield, definitely. That's possible, but why would you make the best right-back in the world a midfielder? I struggle to understand how you can think that?

"Some people think because he'd be 10 yards further up the field he would be more influential. We always use him as good as we can."

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Alexander-Arnold is not exactly alien to the role as he played there regularly in the Liverpool youth sides.

At right-back, however, he's proved to be one of the Reds' main creative sources since breaking into the first-team a few years back.

Supplying deadly crosses for the likes of Mo Salah and Sadio Mane to attack, Alexander-Arnold has 34 assists to his name in the Premier League.

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In the Andorra game, the Liverpool academy graduate found himself back at right-back in the second half when the experiment was abandoned.

Image: PA
Image: PA

"We wanted to see something and we felt this was a good game to look at it," Southgate explained after the match at Wembley.

"Clearly in the second half he has been in more of those positions where he felt more comfortable.

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"Even though a lot of the time it was the same positions he was in in the first half but just he's coming onto things, he looked happier in that position. That was clear so I think his play with the ball exhibited that happiness. We know he has outstanding quality with the ball and of course he finds himself in those positions with Liverpool. 

"But what was clear in the first half was there wasn't a lot of space and to find yourself in those positions coming onto those positions is different to starting in those positions so I don't feel we lost anything by having a look at it."

Featured Image Credit: Image: PA & Twitter

Topics: Liverpool, Gareth Southgate, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jurgen Klopp, England

Josh Lawless
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