Trent Alexander-Arnold reveals he is learning from ‘exceptional’ Man City defender John Stones as he continues to develop his new hybrid role in midfield… admitting he’s long been an admirer of his England team-mate
- Trent Alexander-Arnold’s best chance of playing for England is as a midfielder
- The Liverpool star has been learning the hybrid role from Man City’s John Stones
- City had their pants pulled down by a development team – It’s All Kicking Off
Trent Alexander-Arnold has acknowledged becoming a student of John Stones to aid his development playing in midfield for Liverpool and England.
Alexander-Arnold is being deployed by Jurgen Klopp in a hybrid role at Anfield, stepping out from defence into the centre of the park as Stones has done successfully with Manchester City.
Meanwhile, Gareth Southgate primarily sees the 25-year-old’s England future as a midfielder given the competition at right-back from Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier and Reece James.
‘I think as someone who plays the inverted role, or whatever people want to call it, then obviously John Stones is the example of who to watch,’ reveals Alexander-Arnold.
‘He is exceptional and I’ve admired his game for a long time. I look at a lot of his clips and even when I’m watching City play, I will sit and focus on him.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (above) admits he’s long been an admirer of Man City star John Stones
The Treble-winning defender has mastered the art of stepping out into Man City’s midfield
Alexander-Arnold has been deployed in a similar role for Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp and this position could well be his best chance of making it into Gareth Southgate’s England starting XI
‘I admire Rodri. He is pivotal to City and massively underrated. They are not the same without him.
‘l’ll also watch midfielders from the past to learn from; Sergio Busquets, Xabi Alonso, Andrea Pirlo, Stevie G. They are players I have always enjoyed.’
Alexander-Arnold was classified by The FA as a midfielder when they announced Southgate’s latest squad to face Malta on Friday and North Macedonia though Stones missed out due to injury.
The Liverpool star insists the categorisation isn’t for show. ‘The conversations I’ve had with the England manager and staff, I go there as a midfielder,’ he said.
‘That is where I train and where I try and play on the pitch, barring the last Australia game.
‘It helps me because I’m not playing midfield week every week with Liverpool. Being in midfield is a lot different to at the side of the pitch.
‘I am learning how to receive the ball in central areas.’
Alexander-Arnold has been restricted to 21 England caps with question-marks over his defensive strengths.
He admits relishing being given a dual role at Liverpool.
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The Liverpool defender revealed that ‘massively underrated’ Rodri has also been an inspiration
He has also learned from former Reds midfielders Steven Gerrard (right) and Xabi Alonso (left)
Southgate has trialled with Alexander-Arnold in midfield thanks to a glut of full-back options
‘The way I see it and has been explained to me, it is almost when we have the ball I am a midfielder, and when we don’t I am a right-back,’ he explains.
‘Sixty per cent of the game, I am in midfield. It’s about playing with freedom to get on the ball and try and create and make things happen, to progress us up the pitch.
‘And when the ball advances towards us, it becomes more about protection and stopping counter attacks.’
Alexander-Arnold helped lift Liverpool up to second in the Premier League by beating Brentford 3-0 on Sunday.
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