- Flying full-back is great going forward
- Can make mistakes when heading the other way
- Klopp urged to bring in competition
WHAT HAPPENED? Questions have been asked of the home-grown defender at Anfield ever since he made a senior breakthrough, with the general consensus being that he is happier going forward than he is being pushed back. That remains the case in 2022-23, with Vinicius Junior giving him a hard time in a Champions League last-16 encounter that saw Real Madrid prevail 6-2 on aggregate, with Carragher of the opinion that the time has come for Jurgen Klopp to reinforce his ranks in what can be a problematic area at times.
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WHAT THEY SAID: The legendary former Reds defender has told CBS Sports: “It's very, very worrying – not just for Liverpool as a team; for him. That can't continue, what's happened this season with him and the amount of times he's been lacking defensively.. The problem they've got in that position is they've never had real competition for Trent Alexander-Arnold. One of the reasons why is because he's been so good. You think: who do you buy? How much do you spend for someone who's not really going to play every week? But I think Liverpool are at the point now where they've got to go and buy a right-back. That's Jurgen Klopp's decision in terms of how good that right-back is, how much he costs, but that lad needs serious competition. He's been playing now for five years at the top level, week in, week out, with no rest.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Carragher went on to say of a fellow Merseyside native: “I've always defended him in that he's played for one of the best teams in the world, and when you play for one of the best teams in the world, as Liverpool are, you do a lot more attacking than you do defending. We all know his defending is not good enough, and I don't think it will ever be good enough. We're talking about a player who's played 260 games; it's not going to massively improve now. So, when Liverpool drop off and aren't one of the best teams in Europe, like they have been for the last four years, now they're one of the pack going for the Champions League, then you're doing more defending, less attacking. You're seeing the worst traits of Trent and now his strengths going forward. That is a massive problem.
“I thought this problem would rear its head when Klopp left and Liverpool dropped back to where they were when I was a player, most seasons trying to qualify for top four. If Liverpool are trying to qualify for the Champions League on a yearly basis, I'm not sure Trent's your man at right-back. If Liverpool get back to being one of the best teams in Europe, which is what they'll try to do next season, he is your man.”
IN THREE PHOTOS:Getty Images
WHAT NEXT? Alexander-Arnold is up to 261 appearances for Liverpool at just 24 years of age, with those outings allowing him to become a Champions League, Premier League, UEFA Super Cup, FIFA Club World Cup, FA Cup and Carabao Cup winner – but with questions always being asked of whether he could eventually be moved up into midfield.