England legend and Match of the Day host Gary Lineker has backed Trent Alexander-Arnold to become a dominant midfield playmaker.
Alexander-Arnold’s best position has been the subject of much debate for some time, with some – including Lineker – advocating that the 24-year-old should move into midfield.
After a poor start to the 2022/23 season, Liverpool saw an upturn in form after switching to a new system that saw Alexander-Arnold play a hybrid right-back and midfield role.
Meanwhile, for England, Gareth Southgate has recently preferred Alexander-Arnold in a central three and listed him as one of the midfielders on his September internationals squad list, before the Liverpool academy product withdrew with a hamstring injury.
Giving his thoughts on the on-going debate, Lineker told the No Ratings Podcast that he sees Liverpool’s vice-captain as a playmaker whose attributes are best suited to a central role.
“I’ve said that [he should move into midfield] ever since I saw him,” Lineker said.
“From right-back he’s limited with his incredible passing range because you can only pass to the left. When you play in the middle you can go both ways and he would be much better. He grew up as a midfield player and by chance he got an opportunity at right-back and did exceptionally well.
“Is he the best defender in football? Absolutely not, but you say they can’t win with him at right-back, they’ve won plenty with him there. I do feel myself personally that he should be in midfield, in there as a playmaker he could absolutely dominate.”
Speaking earlier this summer, Alexander-Arnold – who has one assist so far this season – seemed to indicate that he is happy wherever he is told to play.
He said: “It’s not my decision. I only play where I’m told to play so you know all I can say is I enjoy playing football, I enjoy playing right-back, I enjoy playing in the middle of the pitch a lot.
“It’s somewhere where I find joy and I’m enjoying the challenge of the two so you know I would enjoy playing there in the next season but it’s not my decision where I play.”