Sam Allardyce makes interesting Trent Alexander-Arnold claim as England World Cup squad announcement nears
Sam Allardyce asserted that the Liverpool fullback has never been taught how to defend as doubt lingers over whether Trent Alexander-Arnold will be chosen by Gareth Southgate for the next World Cup.
The Scouser has received accolades recently for partially redefining the right-back position, but after having a difficult season debut for Jurgen Klopp’s team, serious questions about the 24-year-defensive old’s prowess were raised.
Although talking about the performance of other Three Lions defenders who might be traveling to the competition, the former Everton manager did give the England international respect.
“If they’re all fit I have to go with how they’re playing now. Trent isn’t playing great. I love him, he’s an unbelievable footballer, but nobody has taught him how to defend, I’ve said that before. It’s not as important as it was in our day, in our day it was the most important thing, but now it’s secondary,” Allardyce told No Tippy Tappy Football Podcast (via HITC).
Alexander-Arnold has made 19 appearances for the FA Cup champions this season and scored three goals, although he has not yet contributed an assist.
It’s amazing that he hasn’t assisted his team in scoring a goal yet this season given his extraordinary passing prowess and world-class set-piece delivery.
His offensive danger has always outpaced his defensive capacity, and if chosen to go to the Middle East, he can be a valuable asset for Southgate’s team.
When you consider that the Academy product has won every major trophy available at the club level and has been a mainstay in Klopp’s side since making his debut at the age of 18, Allardyce’s assertion that he hasn’t been taught how to defend is a little perplexing.