Kieran Trippier may be a long-standing member of Gareth Southgate’s England squad but given the level of competition at full-back, he is not taking his place at Euro 2024 as a given.

The Newcastle defender is now one of the senior men within Southgate’s ranks and has amassed 46 caps to date.

His only senior goal was the opener in the 2018 World Cup semi-final defeat to Croatia with his ability to play on either side of Southgate’s defence keeping him in and around the team ever since.

Despite his consistency for club and country, Trippier is now arguably in the strongest pool of full-backs available to England.

In recent times Kyle Walker, Reece James and Ben White have played at right-back – with the versatile pair of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Rico Lewis also in contention – while Luke Shaw, Ben Chilwell and Levi Colwill have operated on the left.

“I need to keep performing well for my club first,” he said of Euro 2024 selection.

“There are so many good full-backs in England at the moment, I need to focus on my own performances. Obviously I want to be there but I know I need to be playing at a high level to be successful.

“I’ve always believed in myself. I’ve always had challenges in my career. I’ve always been up against top right-backs for many years now and it’s just about believing in yourself.

“I think the demands on a full-back these days playing now is so much. You’ve got to get forward. You’ve got to go on the overlaps but ultimately, you’ve got to defend as well.

“I think there’s a big responsibility on full-backs the way we play in the Premier League now.

“I think you look at all the English full-backs, there’s incredible talent.”

Southgate has largely put faith in youth since taking the reins as manager in 2016, with Trippier now one of the elder statesmen in the current squad alongside fellow 33-year-olds Walker and Jordan Henderson.

He will be hoping to start again when England face North Macedonia in their final Euro 2024 qualifier on Monday night but, regardless of the changes made by Southgate, Trippier knows leadership does not necessarily come with age.

“It only seems like yesterday when I was first walking into camp, when Gary Cahill was here and Joe Hart and all the experienced players,” he added.

“Fast forward it to now, I’m one of the oldest so it just shows how quickly football goes.

“Even though I’m one of the oldest, we’ve got a lot of leaders in this room, you’ve got a lot of players playing at a high level.

“You don’t need to be 33 to voice your opinion or whatever it may be.

“We’ve got great characters and – the most important thing – a great togetherness in this squad.

“Everybody speaks whatever they need to speak and everybody listens. We’ve got a good, honest group here.”

Trent Alexander-Arnold believes he seized on an opportunity to impress England manager Gareth Southgate when he starred in a midfield role against Malta last season and his “newfound excitement” about the position has left him targeting a starting berth at Euro 2024.

Despite a host of eye-catching appearances at right-back for Liverpool as they won the Premier League and Champions League, Alexander-Arnold found his pathway to the England side blocked by strong competition from the likes of Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier and Reece James.

Southgate, though, wanted to give the marauding full-back a chance in midfield and, despite initially being criticised for doing so by club manager Jurgen Klopp, Alexander-Arnold has now started to operate in that role for Liverpool.

He could come into the England side that hosts Malta at Wembley on Friday night, with a number of other options missing through injury, and he is now listed as a midfielder when Southgate names his squad.

But it was the reverse fixture against Malta in June when Alexander-Arnold felt he had a chance to show what he could do in the middle of the park and he put on a fine show against the Group C minnows, scoring his second England goal in the process.

“I would say the Malta game was my best performance in an England shirt,” the 25-year-old said.

“It was one that I felt going into it that I had confidence. It was a big opportunity for me. I knew I needed to perform and I wanted to perform.

“I had spoken to the manager prior to the game, leading up to that camp specifically, about an opportunity and he explained to me there could be a potential opportunity in midfield going forward for me.

“When I heard those words, it ignited something within me. There was a chance for me to go out there and take it and I think that’s what I did. Hopefully I’ll be able to build on that.”

While he has made 287 appearances for Liverpool, Alexander-Arnold has just 21 senior England caps to date.

Now though, with Euro 2024 on the horizon, he wants to nail down a place in Southgate’s side and feels his new-look role gives him the best chance of doing so.

“Since we spoke in the summer, me and the manager, about a midfield opportunity and to see if we could make it work, there has been a newfound excitement for me,” he said.

“It is a huge opportunity and it is one I am grateful to have, but also making sure I take it. It still early days, I haven’t had much experience in there so I’m still learning on the job and it’s about picking it up as much as I can when I am in there.

“I’ve had some opportunities, I’ve had games, I’ve had minutes. But now I feel like there’s a real opportunity for me, especially in a role that I think will get the best out of me.

“Every game for me between now and the end of the season and any time I’m performing, it’s to earn a place to start in the Euros.”

Asked if going to the Euros as a midfielder was now a target, Alexander-Arnold added: “Massively so, it is something I think about often, it is something that motivates me.

“When I’m here, when I’m not here, I’m constantly thinking about trying to get into the team for the summer, how I can do that and how I can take the opportunities I’m given to make sure I’m part of the plans for the summer.

“It is a target I have set for myself and I think, with the help of the manager and the staff and analysts, it is something I can do.”

England face Malta at Wembley on Friday night with Euro 2024 qualification already sewn up but there are other issues that remain outstanding.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at some of the main talking points ahead of the game.

Seeds of doubt

While a spot at next summer’s finals in Germany was assured with victory over Italy last month, Gareth Southgate’s side still have something to play for in the game against Malta and the trip to North Macedonia.

Only the top-five best performing nations throughout the qualifying campaign will be top seeds for the draw in Hamburg next month.

Four points across both fixtures should be enough, while six would confirm England’s place in the first pot, so there is still something to play for on Friday.

Southgate’s own reshuffle on the cards?

While Southgate has continually stressed the need to finish Group C strongly to ensure the aforementioned top seeding, he will know England are heavy favourites going into Friday’s game.

Having initially picked a strong squad for the fixtures, he may yet decide to give some of his fringe players a chance to impress.

The likes of centre-backs Marc Guehi and Fikayo Tomori, for example, will be pushing to start in place of the injured John Stones, while Ollie Watkins will be keen for another chance to show he can be the man to provide the goals if captain Harry Kane is unavailable.

New kids on the block

While some squad players could feature, there is also a chance for a number of debutants to stake their claim for a late run into Southgate’s thoughts for his 23-man Euro 2024 squad.

Although not included in the original list of call-ups for the forthcoming games, Southgate has added a trio of uncapped players to the squad after injury withdrawals.

That means Aston Villa defender Ezri Konsa, Manchester City teenager Rico Lewis and Chelsea’s Cole Palmer could all make their senior bows against the minnows of Malta.

Can Trent bridge the gap to midfield?

Having burst on to the scene at Liverpool as an attacking right-back, Trent Alexander-Arnold’s attributes have long-seen him touted as a potential midfielder.

After struggling for minutes with England at full-back, Southgate played Alexander-Arnold in midfield in the reverse fixture in Malta and he starred with an eye-catching performance that included a fine goal.

Alexander-Arnold has since taken on more of a hybrid role at Liverpool, too, and is now listed on England’s squad sheet as a midfielder, so he may get another chance to shine there this time around.

Tributes to a 1966 great

The fixture against Malta is the first time England will have played since the death of Sir Bobby Charlton last month.

A 1966 World Cup winner who scored 49 goals in 106 caps, Charlton has been described as the greatest England player of all time, having also won the European Cup and three league titles at Manchester United.

Wembley will remember Charlton before the game on what will be an emotional moment for all those in attendance.

Wayne Rooney came off the bench to make his final international appearance as England beat the United States 3-0 in a friendly at Wembley on this day in 2018.

Earning a 120th and final cap, the former England captain was brought on for Jesse Lingard in the 57th minute, bringing down a distinguished international career.

Making his first appearance for England in two years, he nearly scored just minutes after coming on, but goals from Lingard, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Callum Wilson were enough to end his England career on a high.

At the time of his retirement, Rooney was the record goalscorer for England with 53 goals, an achievement which has since been overtaken by Bayern Munich striker Harry Kane, who currently has 61 international goals to his name.

Reflecting post-match, Rooney said: “It went as I imagined it. The players have been great, seeing how they’re working and I’m improving.

“It’s been great for me. I want to thank the FA and Gareth for giving me this opportunity, and the players.

“Tonight was a great way to finish off my international career. The lads played brilliant, a great game. Unfortunately I couldn’t get a goal. It’s something I’ll remember for a long time.

“I felt I fitted in well with the team, but I’ve had my time. Obviously it’s two years since I played. Tonight was a great night for me and my family. I’m proud to have played for England so many times and be the record goalscorer.”

After ending his international career, the former Manchester United and Everton forward called time on his domestic career at Derby, where he had been appointed player-manager before fully taking charge of the club in January 2021.

A stint at former club DC United in the MLS followed and Rooney was appointed manager of Championship outfit Birmingham last month.

Jurgen Klopp hailed the desire of his players after Liverpool booked a Carabao Cup quarter-final spot by battling through Storm Ciaran to beat Bournemouth 2-1.

Substitute Darwin Nunez settled a challenging fourth-round tie staged in driving rain and swirling winds with a stunning 70th-minute winner.

Cody Gakpo gave the much-changed Reds a half-time lead at Vitality Stadium before the Cherries threatened an upset thanks to Justin Kluivert’s first goal in English football.

“It’s a top, top, top cup game,” said Reds boss Klopp, who made eight changes from Sunday’s 3-0 Premier League win over Nottingham Forest.

“It’s all about winning, it’s all about getting through.

“The good thing today is I don’t have to speak about the circumstances because everybody saw it and felt it.

“It was really difficult, for both teams obviously.

“First half we could have scored more goals, we didn’t, and second half we realised it would have been a good idea to score more goals because the wind changed the game again in the second half.

“We scored our second goal, a wonderful goal, and then we fought extremely hard, we had good moments.

“But it’s all about attitude in these moments.

“Both teams obviously wanted it. Everybody can expect it from the home team but I saw my team as well how hard we really wanted it and I’m really happy about that.

“It was a top cup game in strange, strange circumstances.”

In-form Uruguay forward Nunez unleashed a thunderous finish into the top right corner to claim his third goal in as many games just 10 minutes after coming off the bench.

Underdogs Bournemouth looked well placed to push for a winner at that stage following Kluivert’s close-range header from an Alex Scott corner, which cancelled out Gakpo’s 31st-minute finish at the second attempt.

“It was a difficult game, Bournemouth did really well, they had their moments,” said Klopp.

“But in life, in football from time to time you need luck and tonight for sure in one or two moments Bournemouth could have finished the situations off a little bit better.

“Then Darwin shows his class and pretty much puts the game to bed for us with an unbelievable goal. We had much better chances in the whole game – five, six, seven – but that was the goal we needed, he did it.

“Now we drive home, long trip – we would have had to do that anyway – but going into the next round feels much better.”

Bournemouth picked up their first top-flight victory under head coach Andoni Iraola by beating Burnley 2-1 on Saturday.

But the spirited Cherries were unable to build on that landmark win with a place in the last eight.

“We were really close,” said Iraola. “One moment in the second half, the game was going our side.

“We were struggling first half. It was difficult with the wind. Both teams were struggling with the build up. It looked as if we could score a second goal and win the game but in the end they made the difference with Darwin’s strike.

“We had a big chance to be in the last eight with some big teams out but we knew it would not be easy.

“They finished the game with most of their starting 11 and had to push really hard to beat us.”

Substitute Darwin Nunez fired Liverpool into the Carabao Cup quarter-finals with a stunning second-half winner in a 2-1 success over Bournemouth at a blustery Vitality Stadium.

The in-form Uruguay forward had been on the pitch for just 10 minutes when he collected a pass from fellow replacement Trent Alexander-Arnold and unleashed a thunderous finish into the top right corner.

Cody Gakpo gave Jurgen Klopp’s much-changed visitors a first-half lead before Justin Kluivert’s maiden Cherries goal levelled proceedings amid treacherous conditions caused by Storm Ciaran.

Parity lasted just six minutes as Nunez’s third goal in as many games emphatically earned the nine-time winners a place in the last eight to ensure an entertaining fourth-round tie would not be settled by the jeopardy of a penalty shoot-out.

Mohamed Salah was one of only three Liverpool players retained from the team which began Sunday’s 3-0 win over Nottingham Forest and captained an experimental line-up.

Bournemouth, buoyed by beating Burnley 2-1 to register their first Premier League win under head coach Andoni Iraola, made just three changes and had the better of the early chances.

The recalled Kluivert was twice denied by Reds goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher, while the unmarked Ryan Christie wastefully side-footed wide following Antoine Semenyo’s cut-back.

Liverpool were dominating possession and should have taken the lead in the 27th minute when Harvey Elliott tamely fired straight at Cherries keeper Andrei Radu from level with the penalty spot.

The lively midfielder made amends four minutes later with a key role in the opener.

After Kostas Tsimikas’ corner was partially cleared, Elliott’s fizzing effort was back-heeled goalwards by Gakpo and then finished at the second attempt after Radu repelled the initial effort.

Bournemouth boss Iraola said pre-match his side faced a “big challenge” but also had a “big chance” to reach the next round.

In relentless driving rain, his team began the second period on the front foot and almost received a helping hand from the swirling wind as Alex Scott’s inswinging corner from the left was headed off the line by Joe Gomez at the back post.

Salah nodded narrowly wide as Liverpool threatened to extend their lead before Semenyo sliced past the right post at the other end and substitute Marcus Tavernier tested Kelleher from distance.

Bournemouth deservedly levelled in the 64th minute.

Another Scott corner caused problems for the visitors’ static defence, leaving the unmarked Kluivert with a simple headed finish to claim his first goal in English football.

The Cherries looked well-placed to push for a winner but were soon behind again.

Nunez initially lost control of Alexander-Arnold’s sweeping pass but atoned in devastating fashion by cutting inside Chris Mepham from the left wing to thump high into the net from just inside the hosts’ 18-yard box.

Bournemouth were given five minutes of added time to force spot-kicks but rarely threatened a second equaliser as Klopp’s men comfortably held on to progress.

Liverpool seized control of Europa League Group E as they breezed to a 5-1 win over Toulouse at Anfield to go five points clear after three games.

Diogo Jota continued his love affair with Europe’s second competition, scoring his eighth goal in seven appearances, and although Thijs Dallinga levelled for the visitors, Wataru Endo got off the mark in Liverpool colours and Darwin Nunez added another to put Jurgen Klopp’s men in charge before half-time.

Nunez then hit the post of an open goal just after the hour, but Ryan Gravenberch tucked in the rebound and substitute Mohamed Salah added a fifth in stoppage time to leave Liverpool – three points off the top of the Premier League – looking strong on all fronts as they face an intense run of fixtures.

Klopp had promised to make “not too many” changes to his side following Saturday’s 2-0 win over Everton in the Merseyside derby, but there were only three survivors in the starting line-up – Jota, Gravenberch and Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Klopp had also said he wanted to ensure Toulouse, who lost 4-0 on their only previous visit to Anfield in 2007, did not enjoy their evening and all three of those players had a big say in making sure they did not.

Jota got the opening goal, Alexander-Arnold the assist for the second and Gravenberch, a driving force throughout in Liverpool’s midfield, creating the third before scoring the fourth, but this was also a show of the depth in Klopp’s squad.

Jota opened the scoring with only nine minutes gone. Joe Gomez prodded the ball forward to the Portugal international, who turned on the edge of the centre circle and ran at goal, holding off two opponents and skipping past Logan Costa before beating Guillaume Restes with a low shot.

Liverpool, dominant on the ball and winning the midfield battle, looked poised for a comfortable night, but Toulouse then gave their noisy travelling support a moment to savour, hitting their hosts on the break with quarter of an hour gone.

Aron Donnum turned on the halfway line to play in Dallinga, being kept onside by Alexander-Arnold and he had space to run at goal before slotting a shot under Caoimhin Kelleher.

Liverpool soon regained their composure. Gravenberch almost scored a remarkable goal in the 28th minute, controlling a raking pass from Alexander-Arnold, breaking into the box and then – having seemingly run into traffic – twisting his way through to test the 18-year-old Restes with a low shot.

Moments later, Endo’s moment arrived as the Japan international got in front of his man to direct Alexander-Arnold’s cross into the corner of the net.

Toulouse were rocked and soon fell further behind. Gravenberch drove at goal from his own half, laying the ball off for Curtis Jones to shoot from a central position. His effort was charged down but the ricochet fell for Nunez, whose emphatic finish found the roof of the net.

There was a scare at the start of the first half as Kelleher got a clearance all wrong, leaving Gabriel Suazo with what should have been an easy chance, but he shot straight at Alexander-Arnold on the line.

Liverpool’s fourth came about in almost comical circumstances in the 65th minute. Jota’s pass found the run of Nunez, who had done the hard work by rounding Restes, only to see his shot come back off the post.

Nunez still had his head in his hands as Gravenberch picked up the pieces to get the goal his performance deserved.

Cody Gakpo then replaced Nunez in a flurry of substitutions, making a welcome return from a knee injury, while there was also a late cameo for Salah, who scored his ninth goal in 12 appearances for Liverpool with almost the last kick of the game.

Storm Babet disrupted football in England and Scotland on Saturday as adverse weather conditions swept the UK.

Ross County’s home match against St Mirren in the cinch Premiership was the latest fixture to be postponed north of the border.

And in England, Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold was involved in an accident after a 40ft electricity pylon smashed onto a car in front of the England international, according to The Sun.

The high voltage power line was pulled up by 70mph winds and landed in front of Alexander-Arnold’s black Range Rover near Knutsford, Cheshire, the newspaper reported.

Alexander-Arnold reportedly slammed on the brakes before colliding with a BMW X5. Cheshire police said nobody was injured in the incident.

The footballer’s agent was contacted by the PA news agency, but declined to comment on the story.

The storm showed no signs of abating as downpours continued to batter the UK on Saturday, with three people dead and another red “danger to life” warning in place.

After conversations with the SPFL and Police Scotland, the decision was taken to call the St Mirren game off on Saturday morning with supporters’ safety in mind.

A club statement said a new date and kick-off time would be rearranged in due course.

County’s match at the Global Energy Stadium became the first fixture to be called off on Saturday but several others were already postponed on Friday, including Aberdeen’s home game against Dundee and Motherwell’s trip to St Johnstone.

Other Saturday fixtures to have fallen include Mansfield’s home clash with Forest Green in Sky Bet League Two, and Altrincham’s match against Dorking in the Vanarama National League.

Chesterfield’s home fixture against Gateshead has also been called off “on the recommendation of various external partner agencies”.

The Scottish Championship game between Arbroath and Raith Rovers – in the worst-hit area of Angus – was called off, as was Greenock’s match against Inverness.

Cove Rangers against Montrose in League One was also postponed along with two games in League Two – Elgin versus Forfar and Stenhousemuir against Peterhead.

Saturday’s race card at Market Rasen was also postponed due to standing water on areas of the track.

An inspection was held on Friday but the race course confirmed after 50mm of rainfall in the area that the decision was made to abandon the meeting.

Rotherham’s Championship game with Ipswich, scheduled to be played on Friday night, was also postponed due to the stormy conditions.

The area was hit with torrential rain which caused the River Don, which runs behind the AESSEAL New York Stadium, to burst its banks which left areas around the stadium flooded.

Gareth Southgate has eight months to mull over his European Championship selection after England sealed their place at next summer’s finals with two games to spare.

Tuesday’s 3-1 win against Italy underlined their place among the favourites in Germany and the PA news agency has analysed how Southgate likely sees his options for the squad right now.

Goalkeepers

On the plane: Jordan Pickford (Everton) and Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal)

In the departure lounge: Sam Johnstone (Crystal Palace)

Hoping for a late ticket: Nick Pope (Newcastle)

Pickford established himself as England’s number one ahead of the 2018 World Cup and is all but certain to go into his fourth major tournament as the man between the sticks.

Ramsdale is his closest contender but David Raya’s arrival at Arsenal is impacting his playing time and could well damage his international ambitions. Johnstone has supplanted Pope as third choice for the time being.

Defenders

On the plane: Ben Chilwell (Chelsea), Marc Guehi (Crystal Palace), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Newcastle) and Kyle Walker (Manchester City)

In the departure lounge: Levi Colwill (Chelsea), Lewis Dunk (Brighton), Reece James (Chelsea) and Fikayo Tomori (AC Milan)

Hoping for a late ticket: Conor Coady (Leicester), Eric Dier (Tottenham), Ezri Konsa (Aston Villa), Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa) and Ben White (Arsenal)

Trippier, Stones, Walker and Maguire have been to every previous major tournament under Southgate and will do so again if fit and playing – not something that is a given with the latter.

James undoubtedly has the quality to be on the plane but needs to prove his fitness. The Chelsea skipper missed the World Cup through injury and has struggled for an issue-free run since – not ideal given the competition at right-back.

Injured team-mate Chilwell is in a similar position but there is a dearth of options at left-back beyond him and Shaw.  Colwill can fill in there as he did on his England debut against Australia, which will boost the central defender’s hopes.

Guehi has established himself as third-choice centre-back. Dunk and Tomori furthered their case for inclusion in recent camps in the absence of injured Mings, whose Aston Villa team-mate Konsa cannot be far from a call-up.

Coady and White have not been selected since Qatar, while fellow World Cup squad selection Dier’s lack of club action has seen him fall out of consideration.

Midfielders

On the plane: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid), Jordan Henderson (Al-Ettifaq), Kalvin Phillips (Manchester City) and Declan Rice (Arsenal)

In the departure lounge: Conor Gallagher (Chelsea) and Mason Mount (Manchester United)

Hoping for a late ticket: Morgan Gibbs-White (Nottingham Forest) and James Ward-Prowse (West Ham)

Bellingham would be in any squad in the world, as would Rice. There are questions over Phillips and Henderson given their club situations, but Southgate has so far seen enough to stick with two players he trusts implicitly.

The Football Association now lists Alexander-Arnold as a midfielder, with his versatility and qualities surely enough to see him involved in a midfield that Gallagher is now a regular part of.

Mount’s difficult end to last season and injury-impacted start to life at Old Trafford has seen him miss out on recent squads, but Southgate is a long-term admirer of the Euro 2020 final starter.

In-form Ward-Prowse has not been called up despite his fine start to life at West Ham.

Forwards

On the plane: Phil Foden (Manchester City), Jack Grealish (Manchester City), Harry Kane (Bayern Munich), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United) and Bukayo Saka (Arsenal)

In the departure lounge: Jarrod Bowen (West Ham), Eberechi Eze (Crystal Palace), James Maddison (Tottenham), Raheem Sterling (Chelsea), Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa) and Callum Wilson (Newcastle)

Hoping for a late ticket: Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton), Eddie Nketiah (Arsenal) and Ivan Toney (Brentford)

England are blessed with an abundance of attacking options.

Skipper Kane is a certainty, as is fleet-footed Saka. Foden, Grealish and Rashford are established performers under Southgate, while Maddison is now a regular squad member.

There are decisions to make beyond them. Sterling has won 82 caps for his country but has not featured since December’s World Cup quarter-final loss to France. Bowen is another fighting for a sport after his October recall, while Eze will hope to earning back the spot he got before injury. Under-21 Euros winner Gibbs-White is another knocking on the door.

As for Kane’s back-up, Watkins scored on his return to the set-up and Nketiah made his debut this month. But Wilson will be hoping to head into another tournament in that role. Toney is the most interesting alternative but his betting ban does not end until January.

Formula One team Alpine Racing have announced more investors from a range of sports including golfer Rory McIlroy, heavyweight boxer Anthony Joshua as well as footballers Trent Alexander-Arnold and Juan Mata.

Kansas City Chiefs players Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce are also part of the 200 million euro (£173m) strategic investment led by consortium Otro Capital in the French team, which is backed by the parent company Renault.

The latest move follows on from Wrexham co-owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney expanding their sporting portfolio by also investing in Alpine for a 24 per cent stake of the team, which is currently sixth in the 2023 F1 constructors’ championship.

McIlroy, who helped Europe win the Ryder Cup in Rome last month, said: “Passion for excellence on the golf course has led me to admire the same pursuit in Formula 1.

“Partnering with Otro Capital in Alpine F1 is an exhilarating venture that unites my love for sports, competition, and the relentless drive to be the best.”

Former heavyweight world champion Joshua felt the opportunity was one he could not ignore.

“The heritage of the team, mixed with the global growth of Formula 1 as a sport and brand made this a very serious proposition,” Joshua said.

“I am excited to start this journey with Otro and a great group of fellow investors and hope to help the team achieve its full potential.”

Liverpool and England defender Alexander-Arnold joins the investor group alongside his brother Tyler.

“Our shared goal as an investment group is to help contribute to its continued success on the grid, at a time when F1 is facing incredible growth as a sport,” he said.

Alec Scheiner of Otro Capital added: “We are honoured to be joined by this particular group of investors.

“These are best in class investors, athletes, entertainers and entrepreneurs and they are all committed to elevating the Alpine F1 team.”

Ryan Gravenberch benefited from an error by Union Saint-Gilloise goalkeeper Anthony Moris to score his first goal for the club as Liverpool laboured to a 2-0 Europa League victory to maintain their 100 per cent record in Group E.

For all the attacking firepower at their disposal – and it was considerable with Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez and Diogo Jota boasting 248 goals between them – it was a 21-year-old former Ajax and Bayern Munich midfielder who had scored just nine in five years who popped up with the breakthrough at a crucial moment a minute before half-time.

That two of the front three were replaced at the interval was more down to a prepared plan rather than a reflection of their first-half contributions but if either had been anywhere close to their sharpest the game would have been out of sight before Gravenberch’s intervention.

Jota remained on for the whole game and scored the second with a breakaway in added time to ease any late nerves.

Salah’s first Europa League start for the club would have led to speculation about just how much devastation he could inflict, especially after his 16-minute cameo in their first European game produced a goal, an assist and a couple of other chances.

In his 150th game at Anfield he should have added to the 103 he has scored already on this ground as early as the fifth minute.

The excellent young centre-back Jarrell Quansah, deputising for rested captain Virgil van Dijk, won the ball high in midfield and released the Egypt international through the middle but he could not beat the goalkeeper.

It was the beginning of a long list of chances ultimately concluded by Gravenberch’s close-range effort and while Liverpool never looked in any real danger after Gustaf Nilsson had headed over Union’s best midway through the first half until the latter stages the game was more of a grind than it should have been.

Nunez’s 10th-minute rebound goal from Gravenberch’s shot was flagged offside and, on this occasion, UEFA’s VAR officials swiftly made the correct call.

A video replay only increased the Uruguay international’s embarrassment with his next effort, however, as he screwed wide from six yards having opted to go with his right instead of left foot for Salah’s cross after Harvey Elliott had carried ball effortless through the Union midfield.

A weak Salah header straight at the goalkeeper, a Jota penalty claim turned down and a Nunez shot tipped around the near post from Ibrahima Konate’s diagonal pass all followed as chances came and went.

After all just about withstanding all that in-your-face pressure Union were undone from their own attacking corner as captain-for-the-night Trent Alexander-Arnold broke down the left, cut inside on his right foot and drilled in a low shot which bounced in front of Moris.

It was not the most vicious of strikes and the Luxembourg international should have done better than to spill the ball a couple of yards in front of him.

It was all the encouragement Gravenberch needed and he popped home the rebound from close range.

A triple half-time substitution brought an end to the participation of the misfiring Salah and Nunez and also midfielder Wataru Endo as Jurgen Klopp sent on Luis Diaz, Curtis Jones and Alexis Mac Allister – who was made to wait 45 minutes to face his brother Kevin in the opposition defence.

After an early scare when Alisson Becker missed his punch at a corner and almost turned the ball into his own net only for Quansah to sweep up behind him.

Moris tipped over a Jota header and did even better denying Gravenberch a second from a curling shot and even when he was beaten by Diaz his left-hand post came to his aid, while Jones narrowly missed the target with a low shot.

Jota’s goal made the game safe and victory over Toulouse, two points behind, at Anfield in three weeks will go a long way to securing qualification to the knockout stages but Liverpool cannot afford to be so sloppy if they want to enjoy comfortable progress.

Trent Alexander-Arnold saluted one of the best performances of manager Jurgen Klopp’s reign after helping Liverpool clinch a “very, very special” victory at Newcastle.

The Reds looked dead and buried at St James’ Park when skipper Virgil van Dijk was sent off three minutes after Anthony Gordon had fired the home side into a 25th-minute lead.

However, they escaped further punishment to make it to the latter stages of the game still only one goal in deficit, and ultimately emerged with three points after substitute Darwin Nunez scored an unlikely late double.

Alexander-Arnold told the club’s official website: “It’s unbelievable, to be honest. It was something very special out there today.

“You come here with a game plan, you want to dictate possession, you want to control the game, you want to try to kill the atmosphere as quick as possible, as much as possible because you know that’s a big advantage for them.

“But that wasn’t the case and we’ve had to do it the hard way, the very hard way.

“I think we have made it difficult, but out there we dug deep, we all pulled in together.

“It was something for the ages, to be honest, one of our best performances since the manager’s come in – and we’ve had some outstanding performances as a team, as individuals.

“But I think we’ll look back on this game as something very, very special.”

Things might have turned out differently for Alexander-Arnold in particular had referee John Brooks judged his sixth-minute challenge on Gordon seconds after he had been booked for kicking the ball away differently, but he survived that scare and the sternest of examinations at the hands of the former Everton striker to emerge victorious.

Nevertheless, it took a superb save from keeper Alisson to deny Miguel Almiron before the break and a post to keep the Paraguay international at nay after it, but forgotten man Nunez took full advantage with a superb double, levelling in the 81st-minute before winning it three minutes into stoppage time.

Alisson said: “You cannot underestimate [Liverpool], even in a game like that. But to be honest, even when we play against them here last season they had one player sent off and it was really hard to play against 10 men.

“When you play as a unit, you can do so many things on the pitch. You can make the pitch be smaller. With the quality that we have in the team, we can do so many things.

“We said in the changing rooms in half-time that we should believe, we’re going to have chances and we should believe that we are capable of doing something here tonight.

“We did it. This is one of a kind.”

Liverpool great John Barnes is not convinced Trent Alexander-Arnold is at his creative best when used in the central role he adopted last season.

Having attracted criticism for a series of defensive mishaps as Liverpool failed to challenge Manchester City last term, Alexander-Arnold switched to a central role in the season's closing weeks.

Liverpool won seven of their last nine Premier League games to finish fifth, a run that started with Alexander-Arnold producing two assists in a 6-1 rout of Leeds United, drifting inside from his right-back position to a hybrid role.

Alexander-Arnold then played in midfield during England's wins over Malta and North Macedonia last month, but Barnes is not sure it will become his permanent position.

"It depends on the games, if you can dominate position," Barnes told Stats Perform. "Possibly when you're playing against City, you're not able to do that.

"Are we going to get a right-back and Trent plays in midfield, or [will he] move into midfield in possession? 

"When he moves into midfield, if you lose the ball, is he able to get back to the right-back position? It really depends on what they want and how they see that. 

"Trent probably produces more playing in the right-back position, in terms of the crosses he puts in for people to score. Playing in midfield, he still creates more from a right-back position. 

"We may look at that situation and say we haven't got a midfield player who's going to produce that kind of pass, but we lose what he has at right-back in terms of his crossing."

With Liverpool bolstering their midfield with the signings of Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai, Barnes believes there may no longer be a need for Alexander-Arnold to play centrally.

"I don't necessarily feel that Trent creates more goalscoring opportunities playing in that role. But once again, it really depends on necessity," he added.

"Now that we have the midfield players we have, I'd be surprised. We may still do it on the odd occasion, but I think that was more out of necessity than anything else."

Former Liverpool midfielders Lucas Leiva and Gary McAllister, however, believe Alexander-Arnold has the quality to be a good option in either position.

"I think Trent showed that he's got the quality to play in midfield," Lucas said. "As a full-back, you have a little more time on the ball because in midfield you're always under pressure.

"But Trent has the capacity to play in both positions, which is very good. That gives another option to Jurgen [Klopp], depending on the game and depending on the system.

"For sure, he is capable of doing that. I'm looking forward to it also because every year, Trent is improving and getting better and better. He's a world-class player but he's still very young and coming into midfield shows another improvement from him."

McAllister echoed Lucas' thoughts, adding: "He's got the ability and has got such an amazing range of passing, first and foremost.

"But I'm sure Jurgen is going be very careful not to take away his ability to get high and wide to deliver crosses for the forwards.

"Being able to adapt with Trent in two or three different positions is a massive bonus for Jurgen. I thought it was really exciting watching him come off the side.

"I thought he was outstanding and it did marry in with fact that Liverpool finished the season really well. He hit a dozen passes that nobody else in the league could hit."

Gareth Southgate praised Trent Alexander-Arnold for buying into England’s midfield experiment and showing what he was capable of in the comfortable win away to Malta.

The 24-year-old may be an established star at Liverpool but he has often flattered to deceive with the national team, with intense competition at right-back restricting opportunities.

Alexander-Arnold struggled in a midfield against Andorra when Southgate tried him there in September 2021, but things worked far better in Malta as he won just his 19th cap on Friday evening.

The England star had a hand in all three first-half goals, including curling home superbly either side of Ferdinando Apap’s own goal and a Harry Kane penalty.

Substitute Callum Wilson completed a 4-0 win with a spot-kick of his own but this was Alexander-Arnold’s night as Southgate’s side continued their winning start to Euro 2024 qualification.

“Inevitably a lot of what happens is going to be a little bit dependent on his club,” the England boss said.

“The fact that he’s been playing partly in there with the ball, albeit a bit deeper, I think has helped his transition tonight.

“What was pleasing tonight, he’s getting used to receiving in tight areas with his back to goal, with players behind him.

“Whereas he’s used to receiving on the touchline, with the play in front of him, and he was very comfortable doing that.

“Look, I’ve got no questions in my head he can do it. It’s just learning some nuances of the role, without the ball especially very different for him.

“But he’s very keen to do it. He’s enjoyed the sort of project, if you like.

“We talked about it about four weeks ago on the phone, and I think he’s been excited by it and, yeah, he showed exactly what we think he could be capable of. He gives us something different to our other midfield players.”

This was a far more simple night for England compared to their last trip to Malta, when a drab, goalless first half against the limited hosts saw the travelling support turn on the team.

Southgate’s side have come a long way in the six intervening years and there was never any danger of their 100 per cent Euro 2024 qualification record slipping in their third Group C match.

“Of course we know we have the quality to win the games, but it’s about your mentality then and I thought that was excellent right from the start,” Southgate said.

“We tried to balance looking at a few things with some experienced players that give you leadership on the pitch and set the tone. That’s how they’ve trained all week.

“In particular when we lost the ball, the reaction to winning it back was a sign that the team were in a good place mentally.

“Then of course some really good quality for the first couple of goals, especially, so yeah, we’ve made it look fairly straightforward.

“That, as we know from last time, here isn’t always the case!

“We’ve been able to look at a few things, we’ve been able to get players on, we’ve been able to get some players off, so very pleased with the night.”

England now turn their attention to Monday’s home game North Macedonia after preventing Malta – ranked 172nd in the world – from having a shot in their box, never mind an attempt on goal.

Head coach Michele Marcolini said: “I think that we don’t shoot on goal because England for 90 minutes pressed very high and didn’t give us the chance to play easy. Never, never.

“To be honest, the difference physically was clear. To build the action easily, we cannot, to be honest.

“We are sorry about that but at the end we have to be honest and say that this kind of match for us with this kind of behaviour from the opponent it’s very tough.

“When you play with this difference between the teams, you have to hope that the opponent comes here a little bit calmer or they take the match easily.

“But this didn’t happen today because England has an amazing attitude on the pitch from the first minute until the end.”

Trent Alexander-Arnold scored a stunner and sparkled in midfield as England continued their march to Euro 2024 with a comprehensive victory against minnows Malta.

The talented full-back has rarely looked like the player that shines for Liverpool when donning a Three Lions shirt, with the immense competition at right-back also restricting his opportunities.

Alexander-Arnold won just his 19th England cap on Friday night against Malta and impressed in a midfield role, helping to inspire Gareth Southgate’s side to a straightforward 4-0 victory.

The 24-year-old made an impact from outset at the sold-out Ta’ Qali National Stadium, with this exceptional early pass putting Bukayo Saka behind to produce a cross that Ferdinando Apap turned into his own goal.

Alexander-Arnold continued to star and produced a moment of magic in the 28th minute, taking aim from 23 yards as he curled home just his second England goal.

The midfielder also had a hand in England’s third goal, winning the ball high up the pitch at the start of a move that ended with Harry Kane scoring a penalty.

There was a far better mood in the away section than the last trip to Malta in 2017, when Southgate’s side were jeered off after a scoreless first half as many travelling fans made an early exit.

Large numbers of England fans again departed at half-time this time around, but it was to toast a job well done rather than to grumble over beers like six years ago.

In truth, they missed little aside from substitute Callum Wilson converting a late penalty as Southgate’s men continued their 100 per cent start in Group C.

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