Gareth Southgate paid tribute to Alexander-Arnold after a good performance against Malta in midfield.
Alexander-Arnold scored the goal from a beautiful long shot. He also created the opening goal in a 4-0 win over Malta to help England continue to lead Group C with a winning record.
Alexander-Arnold has shone as a right-back and midfielder at Liverpool in recent months. However, the 24-year-old was used by Southgate in midfield against Malta, with Kieran Trippier taking over at right-back.
Southgate praised Alexander-Arnold’s adaptability. Southgate admits that he revealed his plans to use Alexander-Arnold in midfield four weeks ago.
“A lot of things happen depending on his club, because he gradually gets to play more in that position and to have possession of the ball. I think that helps a lot with Trent’s ability to control the ball today.
What pleases me is that he is getting used to receiving the ball from a narrow range and with his back to goal. He is also used to playing close to the edge. I have no doubts in my mind. He can do it. It’s just that he needs to learn a few more things in this role, namely off-ball situations. Trent is happy to do that.
He loves this project. We talked about it four weeks ago on the phone and I think he got really excited.
He showed exactly what we thought he could do. He makes the difference to our midfielders.”