Alexander-Arnold told trait that sets him apart starting to get overlooked, in double-pronged Liverpool warning

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Trent Alexander-Arnold, September 2022 Credit: PA Images
Trent Alexander-Arnold, September 2022 Credit: PA Images

Trent Alexander-Arnold is quickly becoming key player to watch for his lacklustre Liverpool defending – not his attacking, according to a pundit’s warning.

The right-back has been a poster boy for the changing full-back role, which has proved vital in the Reds’ recent successes. While he is a right-back by trade, he has caught the eye for his goal contributions in attacking roles.

But, amid a spell of poor form for Liverpool, the focus is now on finding the sources of their woes.

Jurgen Klopp’s midfield has faced fierce criticism, but the defending from the back line has also come under fire. And observers are now pointing out Alexander-Arnold’s defending instead of his attacking.

According to former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy, the 23-year-old in fact faces a struggle to make the World Cup.

“Trent Alexander-Arnold dropped below his usual high standards against Manchester United and Napoli and faces a challenge to be picked for the World Cup,” the pundit wrote for the Daily Mail.

“He has to look at his positional play and smell danger a bit quicker. He has been given free rein for a long time but he should protect himself better, even if it means sacrificing some forward runs.

“Liverpool have looked complacent this season but I don’t mean players failing to give 100 per cent. It’s more a lack of sharpness or failing to do the basics when you’ve not had any competition for your position.”

Murphy added that it may not take much work for Alexander-Arnold to get back to his best. However, the pundit claimed that the right-back must learn from England’s other top right-backs if he is to improve.

Alexander-Arnold given warning

“I sometimes slid into the comfort zone and needed a jolt,” Murphy wrote in his column. “I’m not saying Trent is the same but the coaches at Liverpool could spend more time with him analysing the defensive parts of his game that need work.

“He is a good listener so his issues are easily resolved. Small details can make a big difference.

“Right-back is one of the hardest positions to call with England because of competition from Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier and Reece James.

“Trent has an X-factor his rivals don’t possess but he has to look at their qualities so he can become more rounded.”

Alexander-Arnold, like his Liverpool team-mates, received flak for his performance against Napoli in the Champions League.

The Reds lost 4-1 in Naples to get their group stage campaign off to the worst possible start. Luis Diaz got Liverpool’s consolation goal, but they have work to do to turn their situation around.

Liverpool man needs to fix errors

Alexander-Arnold has faced countless calls to improve his defending since his Liverpool career began. And this season, the debate is showing no signs of quietening down.

The England international is a joy to watch going forward. Klopp’s team are not the same without him and his crossing and passing is a crucial asset.

However, it gets to a point where those skills are taken for granted – and the focus goes onto his defending.

It is clear Alexander-Arnold has mastered his attacking role at Liverpool. Although, he has yet to fully prove himself as a traditional right-back.

And that is the next step in his development. There is talk of him becoming the future Liverpool captain when Jordan Henderson passes over the armband.

But improving his defending must be his top priority for now before he takes on such responsibility in the team.

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