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Trent Alexander-Arnold Liverpool 2022-23Getty Images

Van Dijk warns 'wellbeing of players' is being forgotten amid criticism of Liverpool teammate Alexander-Arnold

  • Right-back hasn't been at his best recently
  • Widely criticised for lack of form at Liverpool
  • Van Dijk unhappy with how he has been treated

WHAT HAPPENED? It hasn't been the start to the season that Liverpool will have been expecting or will have wanted. While the vast majority of the squad have been off the pace, Alexander-Arnold has often been singled out for his defensive shortcomings and the man who plays next to him believes the 23-year-old is the victim of unfair criticism.

WHAT HE SAID: "Everyone here is very good to praise a player very high up to the sky and let them fall as hard as they can," said Van Dijk. "That's what we, as players, have to deal with. We forget about the wellbeing of players, we forget about that stuff and everyone is talking about how we should all accept it.

"For him to just carry on working - not only him but other players as well - and deal with it and show a reaction is what we need, all of us. To do that I think it's important that we back him and the manager and the club and the fans."

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THE BIGGER PICTURE: While many have criticised Alexander-Arnold, he has also received an equal amount of praise in other corners of the media who, like Van Dijk, believe he is unfairly targeted. Many feel that his exile from Gareth Southgate's England squad is one of the great mistakes that the Three Lions boss has made.

STORY IN THREE PHOTOS:

Virgil van Dijk Trent Alexander-Arnold Liverpool 2021-22Getty ImagesTrent Alexander-Arnold Liverpool 2022-23Getty Images

Trent Alexander-Arnold Aaron Ramsdale John Stones England 2022Getty Images

WHAT NEXT ALEXANDER-ARNOLD? Having found the net with a brilliant free-kick against Rangers, the youngster will be hoping he can use it to build some momentum over the next few weeks. His chances of a start for England at the World Cup look slim but an injury or two could easily see him slot into the starting XI in Qatar.

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