Lineker claims England star has been ‘hung out to dry’ by Southgate at Euro 2024

Joe Williams
Former England striker Gary Lineker
Gary Lineker has been outspoken throughout the tournament on the England team.

Gary Lineker insists England star Trent Alexander-Arnold has been “hung out to dry” by manager Gareth Southgate at Euro 2024.

The road to Berlin has begun in unconvincing fashion, with a hard-fought 1-0 win against Serbia followed by a disjointed display in the 1-1 draw with Denmark.

Southgate experimented in the first two matches with Liverpool right-back Alexander-Arnold deployed in midfield alongside Declan Rice with Jude Bellingham the more advanced midfielder.

But it hasn’t worked for England with the Liverpool star being subsituted off in both his appearances so far and now Southgate is set to go in a different direction.

And Lineker feels sorry for Alexander-Arnold and reckons the Liverpool defender has been “hung out to dry” by his manager at the Euros.

“I do feel a bit for Trent Alexander-Arnold,” Lineker told BBC’s Euros Extra show.

“I feel like he’s been hung out to dry a little bit. His manager’s said he’s an experiment and now it looks like an experiment that doesn’t work.

“It’s very hard to play in a new position even when a team’s playing well.

“But when a team’s struggling and a team’s disjointed and not together and not getting up the pitch it becomes very difficult.

“I do feel for him because he’s an unbelievably talented player.”

Former Man Utd striker Wayne Rooney believes Adam Wharton or Kobbie Mainoo would be better options than Alexander-Arnold in midfield for England.

“Yeah, I’ve been quite critical of Trent,” Rooney said.

“I love Trent as a player as a full-back or as a right-back coming in at the right time but I think to play him in the middle of the pitch in international football, it’s so different to playing as a full-back.

“I’ve said it many times, I wouldn’t have played him there. But he’s [Southgate] got [Kobbie] Mainoo, he’s got [Adam] Wharton.

“For me, I play Jude [Bellingham] in the middle next to [Declan] Rice and you get your width with [Anthony] Gordon and [Phil] Foden.”

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But new midfield companion Rice has called Alexander-Arnold “one of the best players I’ve ever seen” and is convinced he can play in midfield.

“It’s funny because people were calling for Trent to play in midfield,” Rice told ITV. “Half the country are calling for Trent to play in midfield and then he plays in midfield and you want to bring him down.

“I don’t get it, I don’t get it at all. I’ll defend all of my boys until the day I don’t put on an England shirt. Trent is one of the best players I’ve ever seen.

“Don’t call for someone to play in a position and then backtrack because you think he’s had a bad day or something.

“I’ll tell you now – Trent can play in midfield. I’ve seen it for England and for Liverpool. He’s unbelievable.”