Wayne Rooney’s ‘extreme’ comments about Trent Alexander-Arnold called into question

Wayne Rooney has come under fire for his scathing remarks about Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold possibly slotting into England's midfield at Euro 2024.

As the Three Lions gear up for their first Group C clash against Serbia, all eyes are on Alexander-Arnold, who could start in midfield. The 25-year-old made a name for himself as an attacking right-back for Liverpool but has shown promise in his new midfield role for Gareth Southgate's team.

Despite being known as a defender for Liverpool, Alexander-Arnold frequently ventures into midfield and is lauded for having one of the finest passing abilities in the England squad. Nonetheless, Rooney has cast doubt on the wisdom of moving Alexander-Arnold into midfield, openly criticising his defensive skills.

"Defensively, he's all over the place. He can't defend," Rooney declared on The Overlap. "I wouldn't have him anywhere near the middle of the pitch. I'd have no problem with playing him here [at right-back]. I think in here [midfield], I wouldn't have him anywhere near there."

Rooney's shift to midfield during England's disappointing Euro 2016 campaign might colour his perspective, but the England legend's blunt assessment has sparked debate. While some agree with the former Three Lions captain, talkSPORT presenter Natalie Sawyer suggests that Rooney may have been too harsh.

"Wouldn't trust him anywhere near the middle is what Rooney has to say. It seems a little extreme. If he'd never done it before and we're literally just putting you in because we need somebody to play that role, OK, you can raise some questions over it but he started his life in the academy as a midfielder," Sawyer argued.

Have your say! Do you think Trent Alexander-Arnold should start for England in midfield? Tell us in the comments section below

wayne rooney’s ‘extreme’ comments about trent alexander-arnold called into question

England manager Gareth Southgate (L) with Trent Alexander-Arnold (R)

"He was then converted to a right-back. We saw it last season that he would play in midfield at times for Liverpool so it's not alien to him. It's a little extreme, perhaps [from Rooney]."

When questioned about Rooney's opinion on Alexander-Arnold's midfield capabilities, Southgate stood firm and hinted that the positional switch had been a long-term plan for the tournament. "I'm really happy. I spoke to Trent about playing in this role over a year ago. It's something he's been really keen to do."

During an ITV interview, Southgate added: "We think he can offer something we don't have, he can give the team a different dimension and he's been diligent in understanding the role. He has as good a passing range as anyone in world football really.

"He's been invested in learning and understanding all aspects of the game in that role and I've enjoyed working with him on that project in the last 12 months. His mentality and attitude have been absolutely first class."

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