England ratings vs Malta: Trent Alexander-Arnold was born to play in midfield!

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Trent Alexander-Arnold England 2023
Trent Alexander-Arnold was hugely impressive in his first outing in midfield for England in a comfortable victory for the Three Lions.

The Liverpool star mapped out his path to a regular place in the England team with a sensational performance as the Three Lions strolled to a 4-0 win over Malta.

Alexander-Arnold finished the season superbly after effectively becoming a midfielder for the last two months of the campaign and he gave a thrilling performance for his country after starting on the right of Gareth Southgate's three-man midfield.

He split Malta's defence with a sumptuous reverse pass which released Bukayo Saka and led to Ferdinando Apap knocking the ball into his own net in the eight minute. Alexander-Arnold then scored a wonderful long-range strike before Harry Kane won and then scored from the penalty spot to give England a three-goal lead before the break.

England eased up a bit after half-time but extended their advantage through a Callum Wilson penalty that was harshly awarded against the hosts for handball after a VAR review.

GOAL rates England's players from Ta' Qali National Stadium...

  1. Goalkeeper & Defence
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    Goalkeeper & Defence

    Jordan Pickford (6/10):

    Didn't have to face a single shot.

    Kieran Trippier (6/10):

    Did not get too involved in England's attacking play but was sound defensively.

    Marc Guehi (7/10):

    Confident in possession in his first international start in a year and was never troubled by Malta's forwards.

    Harry Maguire (6/10):

    How he must love coming to England after barely featuring for United this season. Looked assured on the ball and far happier than when playing for his club.

    Luke Shaw (6/10):

    Solid defensively, didn't get forward much.

  2. Midfield


    Trent Alexander-Arnold (9/10):

    Unlocked the game with a beautiful pass to Saka and scored a thumping goal himself. It will be hard to leave him out against North Macedonia.

    Declan Rice (6/10):

    Calmly swept up the very occasional dangerous moments Malta created.

    Jordan Henderson (7/10):

    Worked hard in both areas to make sure England were always in total control.

  3. Attack


    Bukayo Saka (7/10):

    Was in dazzling form but took a painful knock to the ankle in the first half and although he made it to half-time he was removed at the break as a precaution.

    Harry Kane (7/10):

    His movement forced Apap's own goal and his trickery provoked the penalty from which he scored for the fifth game running and grabbed his 50th competitive England strike. Uncharacteristically scuffed a clear chance to score again right before being taken off.

    James Maddison (7/10):

    Ambitious and confident in the first half before moving into a deeper midfield role in the second.

  4. Subs & Manager

    Subs & Manager

    Phil Foden (6/10):

    Quick and incisive after replacing Saka after half-time.

    Marcus Rashford (6/10):

    Heavily involved in England's attacking moves when he came on.

    Tyrone Mings (6/10):

    Was hardly tested defensively but confident on the ball.

    Callum Wilson (7/10):

    Worked hard off the ball, then won and converted the penalty to score his second England goal.

    Eberechi Eze (6/10):

    Looked bright and tricky on his England debut.

    Gareth Southgate (8/10):

    Showed a little innovation by playing Alexander-Arnold in midfield and ensured England took the game seriously despite the huge imbalance in quality. Generous with his substitutions.