This article is part of Football FanCast’s In Numbers series, which takes a statistical look at performances, season-long form and reported transfer targets…
England ended their Euro 2020 campaign in style on Sunday as they beat Kosovo 4-0.
In a match that made more headlines for its historical significance rather than its importance from a footballing point of view, the Three Lions won 4-0. Harry Winks, Marcus Rashford, Harry Kane and Mason Mount grabbed the goals.
There were some worries for Gareth Southgate though. The Balkan nation managed just three shots on target, but that does not mean they did not threaten Nick Pope’s goal regularly. If England want to challenge at next year’s tournament, there are improvements to make.
One disappointing performance came from Trent Alexander-Arnold. The nine-cap Liverpool right-back is regarded as a creative force, contributing 16 assists in all competitions for the Reds last year, but the match in Pristina was not his finest hour.
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Managing 56% possession, you would have expected the 21-year-old to play a big part in the offensive play – after all, he does have an average of 3.5 chances created per match for his club in the Premier League – but he couldn’t even manage one here.
It was the Reds man’s inefficiency that was the most disappointing though. He won neither of the two duels he contested, whilst he also failed to beat his man on the single occasion he attempted to do so. Not only that, but he lost the ball 14 times, which was the most of any of his teammates and the second-most in the whole fixture, behind Milot Rashica.
This is becoming something of a trend for Alexander-Arnold. In the last four matches for either club or country, he has lost possession of the ball the most times on his side – 14 here against Kosovo, 22 against Montenegro, 28 against Manchester City and 32 against Genk. This shows a worrying carelessness that both Jurgen Klopp and Southgate need to consider.
Is the right-back starting to believe his own hype? Perhaps. There has been a lot of talk about how much the youngster is impressing. He has been compared to Belgium star Kevin de Bruyne, whilst there have been calls for him to appear in central midfield.
Before even considering that he needs to iron out these mistakes in his game. Does he have talent? Absolutely. Does he have a lot to learn? Undoubtedly. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves and encourage him to believe he is already the finished article.