Virgil van Dijk says one Liverpool player is 'one of the best' in the country in his position
Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Virgil van Dijk says one Liverpool player is 'one of the best' in the country in his position

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has sung Trent Alexander-Arnold‘s praises following his midweek display (Sky Sports).

The Reds full-back has found himself under criticism in wake of the club’s slow start to the season.

Alexander-Arnold’s performance for Liverpool against Brighton in midweek saw him come under particular scrutiny.

Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

However, the Anfield star reminded everyone of what he’s capable of against Rangers in the Champions League.

Alexander-Arnold gave Liverpool the lead after just seven minutes, a superb free kick from 25 yards out.

Come full time, the 23-year-old had been head and shoulders above everyone else on the pitch.

As per, he had more touches than anyone else on the field, having completed more passes, made more crosses and won more than 70 per cent of his duels.

“It’s important that we back him”

Van Dijk, speaking to the press after the win over Rangers, says Alexander-Arnold is a victim of the UK culture that builds players up before knocking them down.

“We know the quality he has and he showed it again today,” Sky Sports quoted the Dutchman as saying.

“But I’ve been in the UK now for eight, nine years and everyone here is very good to praise a player very high up to the sky and let them fall as hard as they can.

“That’s what we, as players, have to deal with. Everyone is talking about how we should accept it.

“For him to just carry on working – not only him but other players as well – deal with it and show reaction today is what we need, all of us. To do that, I think it’s important that we back him and the manager and the club and the fans.

“No matter what the outside world will say about him, we always back each other and we know that we are fighting our way back to the consistency we have always been showing over the last couple of years.

“We’ll get there. I’m confident we’ll all get there.”

Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

“One of the best right-backs in the country”

While Alexander-Arnold’s place in the Liverpool squad is all-but assured, it’s somewhat different at international level.

It remains to be seen whether England manager Gareth Southgate picks the Liverpool ace in the squad for the World Cup.

While there is no doubt in Van Dijk’s mind about Alexander-Arnold’s qualities, he knows the decision as to his international chances lies solely at Southgate’s door.

“We are all struggling,” he said.

“Hopefully we get to the point where we are finding our level again. That’s what we all want, that’s what we all work for.

“We all come into training, get stronger, get faster, get better, but it’s not a quick fix – it doesn’t work like that. If it worked like that, it would be a lot easier.

“He [Alexander-Arnold] has been showing it over the last couple of years; he has developed as one of the best right-backs in the country.

“In the end, if he doesn’t make the squad, that’s on Southgate. He makes the decisions and everyone has to respect his decisions. The only thing he can do is perform.”

TAA should be in the England squad – TBR View

Alexander-Arnold is a top-quality player who has a lot he can offer England at the World Cup.

An international manager has to have different options for different gameplans in his squad, not just like-for-like players.

Alexander-Arnold does just this, so he can’t not be in the England squad – though Southgate may well have different plans.

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