Carragher ‘disagrees’ with Keane, Neville over England star who ‘can’t sit on the bench’

Jason Soutar
England duo Trent Alexander-Arnold and John Stones during a training session
Trent Alexander-Arnold and John Stones during a training session

Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher does not believe Trent Alexander-Arnold’s defensive ability will hinder England at Euro 2024.

Alexander-Arnold starts against Serbia in the Three Lions’ European Championship opening fixture on Sunday night.

The right-back will get the nod in midfield next to Declan Rice, which would be a huge show of faith from Gareth Southgate.

Other options in that position are Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher, Manchester United’s Kobbie Mainoo and Crystal Palace’s Adam Wharton.

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Trent appears to be ahead of them in the midfield pecking order despite naturally being a full-back, mainly down to his outstanding technical ability.

There are worries over his ability going the other way and some expect him to be eaten alive in midfield against a top team.

Roy Keane said as much on Saturday, claiming that the Liverpool star will likely be “found out” against your Frances and Germanys of the world.

Carragher does not agree, however, stating that a player of that quality needs to be in the England starting XI at the Euros and believes the pace of international football suits him.

“I just think that Trent is that good a player you have got to find a place for him in the team and that happens at different levels of football,” the former England defender said.

“Sometimes a player has that much quality you can’t have him sitting on the bench and England have a big hole in midfield. Trent, I wouldn’t say he is not a midfield player but he is 50 per cent a midfield player.

“He plays in midfield when Liverpool have the ball, we know a lot of teams do that now when the full-back goes into midfield. What you have got to understand is that international football is almost like a completely different sport to Premier League football.

“The pace of the game is so much slower and I think that will help Trent and I think his quality on the ball just has to be in that team.

“I don’t agree with Gary (Neville), Roy (Keane) or Wayne (Rooney) who have questioned his defensive capabilities.

“You might have a problem if Trent was playing against Germany and Jamal Musiala is running at him but when you talk about Trent I think playing him in midfield alleviates some of those problems that he might get at right-back defensively.”

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Another Liverpool player, Cody Gakpo, was on the scoresheet as his Netherlands side came from behind to beat Poland 2-1 on Sunday.

He was named UEFA Player of the Match and received praise from his manager, Ronald Koeman, after the game.

“I thought Gakpo played great,” Koeman said. “It went very well on the left side and we became very threatening there.

“At half time, we should have been ahead 3-1 or 4-1, that would have been normal. But creating chances is one thing and finishing them is a second.

“Now we get five chances before half time and we go to the dressing room at 1-1. When we conceded the goal, we were not in a good position in a standard situation, so we have to do better.”

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