‘Discipline’ – Rooney backs Manchester United starlet for England role over Alexander-Arnold

 Wayne Rooney has tipped Manchester United youngster Kobbie Mainoo to star in midfield ahead of Trent Alexander-Arnold at this summer’s European Championship.

The right-back has been one of the standard performers during Jurgen Klopp’s 9-year stint at Liverpool, but it now looks like his career has reached a crossroads.

Liverpool’s new manager Arne Slot has a decision to make on what to do with the right-back, who has previously spoken of his desire to play permanently in midfield.

However, the newly appointed Plymouth Argyle manager thinks England boss Gareth Southgate will have better options in midfield for Euro 2024 following the emergence of Mainoo.

Speaking to The Overlap, Rooney said he would 100% select Mainoo over Liverpool’s Alexander-Arnold:

“I have watched Trent play there a few times in midfield and I think you lose a lot of his qualities,” says Rooney. “I think his delivery is incredible. Of course, he picks passes from midfield but I think he has to fight it out. 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 per cent.”

Rooney also suggested that Alexander-Arnold is not defensively cut out to play consistently in midfield, especially when it gets to the later rounds and England are drawn against better teams.

“It’s not that he’s not good in there,” Rooney added. “You see it against Everton the other week. Some of his passes he is hitting are incredible and it’s probably only Becks who hits them similar to him.

“But to play in midfield, that discipline you need from a defensive point of view, especially when you come up against the bigger teams. I think he will get found out a bit.”

First major international tournament for Mainoo

Although Mainoo has only made the provisional squad for Euro 2024, the 18-year-old is expected to be on the plane to Germany this summer.

The United academy graduate has earned a starting role in the United first team but it’s still early days in his international career.

Euro 2024 will be Mainoo’s first major international tournament as a senior professional.

Let’s hope they don’t put too much pressure on him – not that I think he can’t deal with it because Mainoo is as cool as a breeze.