Trent Alexander-Arnold is at 'a crossroads' in his career

Trent Alexander-Arnold is at ‘a crossroads’ in his career and must ‘think carefully about how to evolve’ this summer, insists Jamie Carragher – as he tells the struggling Liverpool star to either become the complete full-back or move into midfield

  • Trent Alexander-Arnold was once again left out of Gareth Southgate’s squad 
  • Jamie Carragher believes the 24-year-old is among the best passers in Europe
  • With his form below par, England snub could be best thing for Alexander-Arnold

James Carragher believes that Trent Alexander-Arnold is at a crossroads and needs to consider how to ‘evolve’ as a player this summer, after a lucklustre season at right-back for Liverpool has drawn criticism for his defensive abilities.  

Alexander-Arnold has struggled defensively for the Reds in 2022-23, and came in for criticism after another poor display against Real Madrid in Liverpool’s aggregate loss to Real Madrid in the Champions League. 

As a result, the 24-year-old was left out of Gareth Southgate’s England squad to face Ukraine and Italy in the Three Lions’ upcoming Euro 2024 qualifiers. 

But Carragher is of the opinion that the key to getting Alexander-Arnold back to his best form is either for the defender to ‘think carefully how to improve’ this summer, or move into the centre of the pitch, where he featured as a youth player. 

The ex-defender previously called for Liverpool to sign another right-back to provide competition for the 24-year-old, adding that his defending was ‘not good enough’. 

Trent Alexander-Arnold has struggled in defence for Liverpool and faced heavy criticism

Jamie Carragher believes the 24-year-old is at a ‘crossroads’ in his career and needs to decide how to improve over summer

‘I truly believe Alexander-Arnold is at a crossroads and must think carefully this summer about how to evolve,’ he wrote in his column for the Daily Telegraph.

‘If Trent wants to think long-term – and win the trust of whoever is England’s coach and even a future Liverpool manager who might see the game much differently to Klopp – he has to step up to become the complete full-back.’

In order to do so, Carragher claimed that Alexander-Arnold needs to find a defensive intensity that he has lacked at right-back for the Reds. 

Manager Jurgen Klopp sets out his side to attack on the front foot, with Alexander-Arnold and fellow full-back Andy Robertson encouraged to get high up the pitch. 

As a result, the English defender’s frailties with back to goal are often exposed, and with Liverpool lacking their regular intensity in the press and energy in midfield, those frailties are made more apparent than before. 

Alexander-Arnold’s true talents lie in his ability with the ball at his feet, and Carragher writes that his struggles in defence are understandable as a creative midfielder that has been worked into a defensive role. 

Liverpool’s play style allows Andy Robertson and Alexander-Arnold to get high up the pitch

Klopp could even be forced into moving the right-back into midfield with Stefan Bajcetic injured

And it is in his natural midfield that Carragher suggested his future could lie with Liverpool – a move that Southgate made for England and was largely criticised for.

‘In terms of his passing range, Alexander-Arnold is as good as anyone in Europe and the closest Liverpool have to Kevin De Bruyne or Steven Gerrard. Given how desperate Liverpool are for a creative midfielder, would turning him into a No 8 so he can fill those areas to whip those extraordinary passes into the penalty area be such a radical move? With Stefan Bajčetić out for the season, would Klopp even consider it as an immediate measure?

‘I am convinced Alexander-Arnold will return to midfield eventually, whether it is in his late twenties or early thirties. It does not matter how many medals a player has won, the best will always be looking at ways to get better.

‘Until then, he needs more competition for his place and guidance to eradicate mistakes to stop him being targeted and exposed.’

Source: Read Full Article