Alexander-Arnold 'is not the man at right back' if you want to reach top four says Carragher
"I’m not sure Trent is your man at right-back."
Jamie Carragher doesn't believe that Liverpool will compete for Champions League places if Trent Alexander-Arnold is at right back.
The Liverpool legend highlights the full back's weaknesses defensively, making the point that when the club are not dominating, then he will continue to struggle.
The Liverpudlian has been a regular starter in the position since Jurgen Klopp took charge, and has been incredibly successful, picking up every trophy that's available to win in his short career so far.
However, if Liverpool are not going to be competing for trophies, and are instead trying to fight for a top four spot, then they are going to come under more pressure defensively, meaning that Alexander-Arnold will struggle.
"That can’t continue, what’s happened this season with him and the number of times he has been lacking defensively," the Reds legend told CBS after the full-time whistle in the Spanish capital.
"The problem they have got in that position is that they’ve never had real competition for Trent Alexander-Arnold and one of the reasons why is because he has been so good and you think ‘Who do you buy and how much do you spend for someone who is not really going to play every week?’
"Liverpool are at the point where they have got to go and buy a right-back. It’s Jurgen Klopp decision in terms of how good that right-back is and how much he costs, but that lad needs serious competition.
"He has been playing for five years at the top level, with no rest, and has won absolutely everything and won more than I could ever dream of. I’m so proud of him - a local lad coming through the ranks - but he needs help."
Liverpool crashed out of Europe last night, losing 6-2 on aggregate to Real Madrid, and it was clear to see that the defender was struggling against Vinícius Jr in both legs of the tie.
"He needs to have a long think at the end of the season about where he is as a right-back, and I’ve always defended him because he’s played in one of the best teams in the world.
"When you play for one of the best teams in the world, which 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 ever will be good enough," said Carragher.
"We’re talking about a player who has played 260 games, it’s not going to massively improve now. When Liverpool drop off and aren’t one of the best teams in Europe, like they have been, now they are one of the pack going for the Champions League.
"If Liverpool are trying to qualify for the #UCL on a yearly basis, I am not sure Trent is your man at right back..."@carra23 says Trent Alexander-Arnold needs help or another right-back must come in at Liverpool. 🔴 pic.twitter.com/lQOSGGf2j9
— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) March 15, 2023
"You’re then doing more defending, less attacking and you’re seeing the worst traits of Trent and not his strengths going forward. That is a massive problem. I thought this problem would rear its head when Klopp left and maybe Liverpool drop back to 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 is your man at right-back. If Liverpool get back to being one of the best teams in Europe, he is your man. But, right now, the lad needs help.
"I do question and think about what are the messages he is getting on a daily basis in terms of his defending. Is it actually highlighted? Do they actually want more from him? Because the lack of intensity when he goes to press and close down is just not there.
"It’s a million miles away. It has really been shown up this season and I feel it will continue to be shown up until he is given help off the pitch or by bringing a right-back in."
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