‘He will inevitably be England’s right-back’ – BBC 5 Live pundit in no doubt over RB position
Trent Alexander-Arnold will be Liverpool and England’s right-back for years to come, according to BBC 5 Live pundit Paul Machin.
Speaking as a guest on 5 Live’s The Squad, Machin, a presenter on independent Liverpool fan channel The Redmen TV, suggested that England need to look no further than the Reds’ 20-year-old, considering his achievements in the past season.
Asked whether the likes of Alexander-Arnold and Jadon Sancho would take up England’s right flank in next year’s European Championships, Machin suggested that the right-back spot is Alexander-Arnold’s for the taking.
Machin said: “There’s nothing wrong with the players that are playing, and I struggle because there’s obviously going to be a bias on my part, Trent Alexander-Arnold is absolutely incredible.
“But you look at what Trent can do, there’s no doubt if he carries on like this, if he keeps his head on straight, he’ll be Liverpool’s right-back for another decade.
“And he will inevitably be England’s right-back because in terms of his output – 16 assists in all competitions last season – there’s Arsenal fans who are still making graphics of Mesut Ozil getting that amount, and this is a 20-year-old playing right-back.”
Based on Gareth Southgate’s current squad, it would appear that Alexander-Arnold’s main rivals for a starting position in the national team are Manchester United’s Aaron Wan-Bissaka (who was forced to withdraw through injury), Kieran Trippier (who started Saturday’s game) and Kyle Walker (who was in the World Cup squad alongside Alexander-Arnold some 15 months ago).
A rather startling stat is that the Liverpool full-back’s assist haul was greater than all three of those players put together, with their combined total of 10 still some way off Alexander-Arnold’s eventual tally.
So in terms of output, Machin is certainly justified in his remarks. And with Alexander-Arnold the youngest of the current candidates, it seems that 21-year-old Wan-Bissaka – or an even younger talent – will be his main competitors in the years to come, as Trippier and Walker approach their thirties.
Either way, Alexander-Arnold certainly seems to be in pole position for the role at present.
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