From a gentle left-back, Gareth Bale has become a world-class superstar in the left midfield. What about Trent Alexander-Arnold? Already very, very good at the right-back position, should he change his playing position to raise himself to a new level?
Can Alexander-Arnold shine in midfield?
In fact, Alexander-Arnold did not start his career as a right-back. He was originally trained to play as a central midfielder. However, A-A knows that if he continues to play in that position, the chances of him being in the first team of Liverpool are very low. But even when it is launched, it is not sure that it can survive because of the competition in the central midfield is too terrible. A-A and his family decide he must learn right-back. “I wanted to get to the first team as quickly as possible, and we considered it the straightest path,” the 21-year-old recalled.
But that is not necessarily an easy path. Adapting to a new position is never easy, especially when it is a lonely position like a full-back. “It’s very difficult [to adapt] because when kicking at higher positions we rarely fall into solitude in defensive situations,” A-A said. “It is the strangest thing in the world – we have to face a player on the border, without anyone supporting us.”
But in the end, A-A did it. Do an excellent way. The Englishman has made rapid progress since his debut in late October 2016 and is now one of the best defenders in the world, if not the best. He is enjoying the maximum life of a “lonely” winger. “I always liked playing as a right-back because there I was free to forward. The midfield is much messier, ”he said. “In this position, I probably have more balls than playing in midfield.”
Because A-A is playing so well in the right-back position, why should he think about switching to another position? In fact, Bale was pushed to kick the left midfielder in part by Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp because he has nothing outstanding at left-back (each set a record for the number of consecutive games he has not won in the position). this). So A-A doesn’t necessarily have to go that way. In addition, his actual position in Liverpool now is no different from a winger. A-A constantly rises so Mo Salah can cut in, and the space behind him is always covered by central midfielders.
It will become easier to understand that A-A himself wants to try (again) as a central midfielder. This is what was confirmed by teammate Andrew Robertson on That Peter Crouch Podcast (Radio program called Peter Crouch) recently. From here will arise a new question? Does A-A have the quality to shine in that new (old) position? In theory yes. He has the energy, skills, vision, position awareness … the qualities needed for a central midfielder. Many people consider A-A a completely possible long-term replacement for captain Henderson. But of course, there is a huge gap between theory and reality.
But even if A-A wants and can play the central midfielder, the day he will switch to that position is probably still far away. Unless suddenly a defender appeared to be better than A-A, and he found that the only way to continue playing regularly was to change positions …
Neville compared A-A with Cafu
Gary Neville, a Manchester United legend who also made a career as a right-back, said that since the time of Cafu, no right back had attacked or like A-A. United’s right-back Rafael, meanwhile, believes A-A will soon overtake Neville to become the best right-back in the Premier League era.
38 – After 144 games for Liverpool, Alexander-Arnold got 38 passes into goals. In the Premier League this season, after 29 games, A-A has 12 assists, equal to the performance of the previous season.