7 Players Who Could Use the Lockdown to Learn a New Position

Those of us self-isolating due to coronavirus have suddenly been given an abundance of free time to finally complete those projects that there were never enough hours in the day to have a crack at.

That guitar that’s been gathering dust in the corner? You can finally give that a try. Always wanted to learn a language? Now’s the perfect time to give it a whirl. The novel you’ve been meaning to write? Get writing. The world (within the confines of your house and garden) is now very much your oyster.

Footballers are in the exact same predicament, and if they can find some spare time in between juggling toilet roll, they could even attempt to learn a brand new position that they were always destined for. 

It worked for Thierry Henry, Gareth Bale and… errm Tyrone Mings, why can’t it work for these fellas too?


Lionel Messi – Midfield

Lionel Messi

Given the amount he drops in to collect the ball anyway, isn’t it about time we made it official and moved ​Messi to midfield?

The Argentinian is still as nippy and agile and ever, so we’re not suggesting he goes full Wayne Rooney just yet, but a nice central midfield position would suit him down to the ground. 

And let’s be honest, Messi’s scored enough goals to last a lifetime. He’s done his time upfront, let him see out his career in the middle of the park.


David McGoldrick – Midfield

David McGoldrick

McGoldrick makes a habit of dropping deep to receive the ball so often – he’s very much ​Sheffield United’s Lionel Messi in that respect – so he may as well make a permanent positional switch too.

The forward doesn’t *quite* have a goalscoring record to rival Messi’s, so his absence upfront would not be felt quite so much.

But McGoldrick’s composure, skill and ability to pick a pass would make a deeper midfield role ideal.


Jordan Pickford – Striker

Jordan Pickford

Pickford’s occasionally patchy form this season has led to many questioning whether he should remain England’s number one. When comparing him to the other options that Southgate has at his disposal, pundits have always praised Pickford’s distribution and confidence with the ball at his feet, regardless of how good his handling has been.

Why not put those skills to good use by moving him further up the pitch, and simultaneously reducing the risk of him flapping at crosses?

​With his strong ability to pick a pass, Pickford would probably be best suited to a deep-lying midfield role, but we all know he loves a celebration, so stick him upfront and let him live his dreams.


Kyle Walker – Goalkeeper

Kyle Walker

Pickford’s inevitable move up the pitch leaves a gaping hole in between the sticks, and there’s just one candidate to fill it.

After his 10-minute cameo in goal for ​Manchester City against Atalanta, Walker definitely got a taste for life as a keeper, and he can now while away the hours diving about his front room in preparation.

Following his clean sheet against Atalanta, Walker has already got a reputation to live up to, but we’re sure he can handle it.


Trent Alexander-Arnold – Midfield

Trent Alexander-Arnold

With his phenomenal delivery, there has long been a call for Alexander-Arnold to transition from a humble right back to the glitz and glamour of a midfielder for some time.

It’s potentially a stupid suggestion, given that he is exceptional at fullback so why bother changing something that works so effectively, as England supporters have yelled every time Phil Neville plays Lucy Bronze in midfield.

But given England’s dwindling midfield alternatives, and the option of Kieran Trippier/Aaron Wan-Bissaka/Reece James/Kyle Walker at right back, it could be an option for his country, even if not for his club.


John Stones – Midfield

John Stones

Just get him away from the back four because it makes us all terribly anxious.

Stones is your typical modern-day centre half, if the criteria for a modern-day centre half is to have better technical ability than strictly necessary, at the expense of basic defensive skills.

He is a terrific passer of the ball with fabulous vision, but you just can’t help but feel nervous when Stones is forced to do his job as a defender. 

Stones did make a couple of midfield cameos​ for Manchester City back in 2018. Make that move permanent please Pep.


Adam Webster – Midfield

Adam Webster

It’s another of those pesky ‘modern-day’ defenders.

Webster is blessed with superb intelligence and composure, but again, defensively, you’re never quite convinced.

With Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy already a formidable defensive partnership, and the highly-rated Ben White due to return from Leeds at the end of the season, a positional switch would make perfect sense for Webster.

Move him into a defensive midfield where his vision and passing ability can be utilised, and reduce ​Brighton fans’ anxiety levels by 75% at the same time.


Let’