Gary Neville labels Alexander-Arnold one of the great talents in this country
Gary Neville has told Monday Night Football (broadcast on 3/10; 19:33) that Trent Alexander-Arnold is one of the great talents this country has had, while he expressed his disbelief at the numbers he has produced during his Liverpool career.
Alexander-Arnold has come in for a lot of criticism so far this season. There is no doubt that there have been some goals where he has not covered himself in glory. Certainly, most football fans will have seen clips this season of the 23-year-old almost jogging back at a crucial moment.
Jurgen Klopp defended the youngster recently. But he was dealt a brutal hand on international duty, not playing a single minute for England during the most recent break. And it appears that there is a major doubt over his place at the World Cup this winter.
Alexander-Arnold one of the great talents
He was poor again in the 3-3 draw with Brighton on Saturday. Neville made no secret of the fact that he needs to improve defensively. However, he also made sure to highlight that he boasts some outrageous numbers over the last four years.
Alexander-Arnold has contributed 44 assists, created 315 chances and produced 739 crosses from open play. And Neville believes that he could become one of the world’s best ever right-backs should he improve defensively because of his stunning numbers going forward.
“He’s been exceptional for four or five years, what he’s achieved in the game, those trophies, winning the league, winning the Champions League. I agree with [Klopp] that we shouldn’t just look at a defender now as being that’s his job, that’s his number one job. I think every full-back now has to have a combination of attacking strengths and defensive strengths,” he told Monday Night Football.
“If we just look at Trent’s statistics for the last four seasons, that is absolutely obscene. Just to put that into perspective, I played 400 games in the Premier League and had 35 assists.
“He’s got 44 in the last four seasons at the age of 23. It is absolutely ridiculous. I cannot believe those numbers. So what we’ve got here is one of the great talents that this country has produced in his position.”
Liverpool star deserves criticism, but also a lot more respect
The frustration with Alexander-Arnold is that some of the mistakes appear to be being made on more than one occasion. Certainly, Neville is surely right to say that he is not on the same level as a defender as he is as an attacking force.
Some of the criticism of him has been too harsh. And honestly, it was baffling to see how Southgate used him.
But surely, it is fair to be frustrated with Alexander-Arnold. The talent he has is simply a joke. And it would be a real shame if he did not realise his full potential in the coming years.
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