England Icon Wayne Rooney Says Manchester United Man Should ‘100%’ Start Over Liverpool Star Trent Alexander-Arnold In EURO 2024

Liverpool Ace Trent Alexander-Arnold
Liverpool Ace Trent Alexander-Arnold

Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney has said England boss Gareth Southgate should “100%” pick Kobbie Mainoo over Liverpool ace Trent Alexander-Arnold in the 2024 European Championship (EURO 2024).

England To Have A New Midfield Pairing For EURO 2024

Last week, Three Lions boss Southgate announced his provisional 33-man England squad for EURO 2024. Players included in the provisional squad must prove themselves in training sessions and the friendlies against Bosnia and Herzegovina and Iceland to have a shot at making Southgate’s final 26-man squad.

Liverpool legend Jordan Henderson, who had been a mainstay in Southgate’s midfield, shockingly failed to make the provisional squad. The omission came on the back of a disappointing 2023-24 campaign for Henderson, during which he claimed eight assists in 32 games for Al-Ettifaq and Ajax.

Unless Southgate has a sudden change of heart, he will find a new partner for Declan Rice in the middle of the park. Many top players, young and experienced, are hoping to snag the spot, including Manchester United youngster Mainoo and Liverpool star Alexander-Arnold.

Rooney Claims Liverpool Ace Alexander-Arnold Lacks Manchester United Youngster Mainoo’s Discipline

Although Alexander-Arnold is naturally a right-back, he earned plaudits in the 2023-24 season for his performance in midfield. Impressed with his distribution in the middle of the park, Gary Lineker recently urged new Liverpool manager Arne Slot to make him a fixture in midfield.

Rooney, however, does not think Alexander-Arnold should move into midfield just yet. The England legend has backed him to fight it out with Kyle Walker at right-back and leave the midfield role for natural pivot Mainoo.

When asked if Alexander-Arnold should start in midfield for England, Rooney said on The Overlap podcast (via Metro):

No. I have watched Trent play in midfield a few times and I think you lose a lot of his qualities. His delivery is obviously incredible and of course he can pick passes from midfield, but I think he has to fight it out [with Walker for the right-back spot].

I know Kyle is the best right-back in the world at the minute but I think midfield is such an important position. I would play Mainoo before Trent in midfield, 100%.”

Explaining why he would pick the 19-year-old over the Liverpool academy graduate, Rooney added:

It’s not that Trent can’t play there, we saw him do it recently against Everton and some of the passes he was hitting were unbelievable. It’s probably only Becks [David Beckham] who beats him in that area.

But I think to play in midfield, you need that discipline, especially when you come up against the bigger teams, and he might get found out a little bit.”

Mainoo has played two matches for England so far, whereas Alexander-Arnold has featured 23 times. It will be interesting to see which way Southgate leans when England begin their EURO 2024 journey on June 16.

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