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Bowen backs Alexander-Arnold to adapt to new England midfield role

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 23 Jun 2024

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Jarrod Bowen backed Trent Alexander-Arnold to flourish in England’s midfield having started the Three Lions’ opening two games at Euro 2024.

The Liverpool vice-captain, who operates as a right-back for his club, has featured alongside Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham in England’s win over Serbia and draw against Denmark on Thursday.

Alexander-Arnold’s inclusion in Gareth Southgate’s midfield was a huge talking point heading into the tournament, yet it remains to be seen whether he will continue in that role in their final Group C fixture against Slovenia.

The 25-year-old has been replaced in both games by Conor Gallagher in the second half, despite no player created more chances (3) or played more line-breaking passes in the final third (5) for England against Denmark than Alexander-Arnold.

“Trent’s a top player and I don’t think anything phases him in terms of wherever he’s playing, right back, left back, middle of the park,” Bowen said.

“So yeah, like I said, he’s a top player and he understands what it takes to adapt to a new role, I suppose.

“Everyone’s so close here, there’s lots of conversations after games when people have done well. But like I said, he has got to adapt and now he’s playing it.”

Bowen himself has had to adapt to a new role at West Ham, having spent his previous four seasons predominantly in the wide attacking areas.

However, injuries to Michail Antonio saw Bowen play much of the 2023-24 season as a centre-forward, scoring seven of his 16 league goals from that position.

“Every role requires different things. I’m predominantly a right-winger, if I play on the left it’s going to be different with the way I dribble with the ball,” Bowen said.

“I like to dribble inside when I’m out on the right being left-footed and then when you’re playing left wing you’re dribbling down the outside because it’s your stronger foot. Little things like that can go into learning a new position.

“Striker again is obviously different. I think Trent, the way he plays and the way he passes the ball, and you see those long-range passes that he does. I think the energy that he’s got to get into the box as well.

“I saw him the other night getting really high up the pitch as well. Like I said, the quality when he puts that ball into the box as well. It’s a real big credit to him.

“I think he’s adapted well to the thing. It’s never easy. I can speak from experience of going to, not a new position, because you know, for me, I always found myself at centre-forward, even when I was playing on the wing.

“So, you kind of just kind of naturally edge towards that position kind of anywhere when you’re playing the position. It’s never easy, but you know how to change as a top player, and I know that he’s adapted really well to the challenge.”

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