Jurgen Klopp takes final decision on Trent Alexander-Arnold following Jamie Carragher criticism of the defender
Trent Alexander-defensive Arnold’s ability has been called into question once more in the aftermath of Liverpool’s Champions League exit, this time by Reds legend Jamie Carragher.
Jamie Carragher’s scathing assessment of Trent Alexander-defending Arnold’s has sparked debate, but it is unlikely to change Jurgen Klopp’s mind.
Liverpool were eliminated from the Champions League on Wednesday night after losing 1-0 to Real Madrid, though the tie was effectively lost in the first leg at Anfield, where Los Blancos won 5-2. The Reds’ elimination from the competition is yet another low point in a season full of them, and Carragher’s comments are difficult to read from a Liverpool perspective.
Following the 6-2 aggregate loss, the Anfield legend was unapologetic in his criticism of Alexander-Arnold and his defensive ability.
“What’s happened this season with him and the number of times he’s been lacking defensively can’t continue,” Carragher told CBS after the final whistle in Madrid.
“Liverpool are at the point where they have got to go and buy a right-back. It’s up to Jurgen Klopp to decide how good that right-back is and how much he’ll cost, 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 rising through the ranks – but he needs assistance.”
It is unclear how Klopp will react to the defeat or whether he is considering signing another right-back, as Carragher has suggested, but the Reds manager has previously defended Alexander-Arnold over similar allegations.
In the face of criticism towards the England international in September, Klopp hit back: “Now they say ‘defend better’, you cannot have everything. You must have players in specific positions if you want to press.
“It’s a risk we take; it’s not a crazy risk, but if we don’t win [the ball], people will wonder where Trent is. That’s a question I don’t understand; if you watch football that much and for so long, why would you say ‘that’s his main job?’ – I told him he had to be there [under pressure].
“Every player in the league has these challenges but all the experts [say] ‘this situation you see it is a weakness’. I don’t understand why we accept that a world-class talent is judged by the one thing in which he is not as world-class as he is in other areas.
“He wouldn’t play if he wasn’t a good defender.”
Some may argue that Carragher is being excessively harsh on a player who has played a significant role in one of Liverpool’s most illustrious chapters, but if the Reds are to recover from this season’s setback and compete successfully next year, they must carefully examine their roster or risk falling further behind their rivals.