Liverpool legend John Barnes has weighed in on the Trent Alexander-Arnold position debate, saying he’s best sticking to right-back for now.
Alexander-Arnold started England’s World Cup qualifier at home to Andorra but in the surprising role of central midfield.
The role change came after months of debate in Merseyside over the 22-year-old’s best position, with some fans suggesting his passing ability and spectacular attacking play would make him a perfect midfield player.
However, Alexander-Arnold’s switch lasted all of a half against the world’s 156th ranked team, with the ace himself admitting he struggled in the position despite England’s dominance at Wembley.
Klopp also responded to what the Liverpool star admitted was an ‘experiment’ from England boss Gareth Southgate, with the German manager admitting he ‘didn’t understand’ it.
“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,” Klopp said a few days afterwards.
“That is possible but why would you make the best right-back in the world a midfielder? I don’t understand that really.
“As if the right-back position is not as important as the others. People who say that I struggle to understand how you could think that.”
Anfield icon Barnes agrees with the Liverpool boss, but didn’t rule out the possibility of seeing Alexander-Arnold play in midfield in the future.
“He’s a right-back, that’s what he is,” Barnes said on Thursday’s talkSPORT Breakfast. “And because he likes to go forward people translate that to ‘let’s play him in midfield’.
“The midfield position is very different to the full-back position where he’s very good at coming onto the ball at pace.
“Midfield you’ve got to play with your back to play, you’ve got to play one touch, you’ve got to play short, you’ve got to mix your game up.
“As to whether he can be a midfield player in the future, possibly. However, right-back is his best position, he’s a good attacking right-back.”
Alexander-Arnold has made a good start to the 2021/22 season with two assists in four Premier League matches.
He also had a huge hand in the opening goal of Liverpool’s win over AC Milan as his cross deflected off ex-Chelsea centre-back Fikayo Tomori and into the net.
Goals from Mohamed Salah and Jordan Henderson secured the 3-2 victory at Anfield in a stunning night at Anfield, sparking memories of the Reds’ famous 2005 Champions League final win over the Italians.
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