It was a suggestion made by Sky Sports expert Jamie Redknapp after watching James shine on his full debut for his country at right-back, despite a disappointing 1-0 loss to Denmark at Wembley on Wednesday.
Alexander-Arnold watched the loss from the stands, having played just 79 minutes during the international break and not looking at his best right-back against Belgium.
While England have a deep pool of talent in this full-back / full-back position, they have been criticized for their lack of invention in the central midfielder, with Southgate picking Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips as a pair. midfielder against Denmark.
Redknapp believes Alexander-Arnold – who played in central midfielder as a young team player – has the necessary attributes to enter and reckons the 22-year-old could then take on similar positions in the midfielder of Manchester City Kevin De Bruyne.
“I’m going to throw one here now, what if we were to play Trent Alexander-Arnold in that midfield position?” Put it on the safe side. [of the two central midfielders]. He could play it easily, ”Redknapp said.
“I’m reshaping the squad: you could play Declan Rice at the back, Reece James at the right [wing]- back, Trent over there.
“I think he’s on that right side with his quality, his defense, his athleticism. Then you can get both [Alexander-Arnold and James] on the team.
“What I’m trying to do with this England team is to have good players in central positions.
“This position over there, Kevin De Bruyne operates in this area because he knows that there is a space that is released for someone like him to do his magic.
“Because he’s got such a good brain, Trent, he could play there.” Right-backs are so smart now with what they do that they can play any position on the pitch. They see the cross, they can also see the pass. “
Not suitable for wing-back?
Redknapp cited Philipp Lahm and David Alaba as examples of full-backs who have been successful in midfield and argued that the role of a winger is different from that of a right-back.
“With Trent’s ability as a right-back, that might not be right for him as a right-back,” Redknapp said.
“I was talking to Ashley Cole the other day and I said, ‘You sure would have liked to play as a full back’ and he said ‘no, I wouldn’t. I wanted to come back to it later. ‘
“He’s such a good footballer, I’ve seen him play at center sometimes for Liverpool. You can play it anywhere.
“When you think of Alaba when he played for Bayern Munich and Lahm, when he went to play in central midfield.
“We don’t have as many quality players in this central midfielder position. I think this is something you could try and it might work. “
Scott: James and Alexander-Arnold can push each other
Companion Sky Sports expert Alex Scott, who won 140 caps for England women at right-back, agreed that the challenges of full-back and full-back are different, but used Lucy’s example Bronze as a player who excelled at right-back but struggled to have the same impact in midfield.
She believes James’s performances can elevate Alexander-Arnold’s level as well.
“It’s difficult,” she said. “It happened with the England women’s team with Lucy Bronze. The best right-back in the world.
“Lucy Bronze was moved to midfield and didn’t perform. She was fine in midfield, but you took a world class right-back and she’s just OK in the game.
“As a right-back I knew I had space in front of me. I knew when to do these errands on it. So when you’re on the move it’s a whole different game whether you get your back on things, have to play around the corner.
“I actually think the best thing is that they push each other to be even better, taking each other to another level. “