Former Chelsea defender Frank Leboeuf has blasted Liverpool star Trent Alexander-Arnold, labelling him a ‘Championship-level’ defender.
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Since breaking into the Liverpool first-team five years ago, Alexander-Arnold has established himself as one of the best full-backs in the world and has been described by many as a generational talent.
The 23-year-old has already won the biggest prizes in football, including the Premier League and Champions League, and at present has made a remarkable 76 goal contributions in 235 games from right-back.
However, while his creative and offensive qualities have been widely praised, many have also criticised the player for being a defensive liability, with his performances this season coming under intense scrutiny particularly in the defeats to Manchester United and Napoli.
It is a criticism that Leboeuf agrees with, and the French World Cup winner did not hold back when recently discussing Alexander-Arnold’s limitations, claiming that he would struggle to play for another team besides Liverpool.
‘Look at Trent Alexander-Arnold. I love the guy, his offensive qualities. But defensively, he’s Championship level,’ the former centre-back told French newspaper Journal du Dimanche.
‘Only [Jurgen] Klopp’s system works for him. When it doesn’t work as well as it has this season, all you see is his defensive shortcomings.’
‘I want to take him with me to work on the basics. I would say to him, “Turn your head and look behind you, it will be better already”.’
Liverpool have endured a difficult start to the season, winning just two of their opening six Premier League games which has left them eighth in the table and nine points behind leaders Arsenal, albeit with a game in hand.
Plenty of injuries to their midfield and defence has hampered their progress and as a result Alexander-Arnold will need to find his rhythm again as the season resumes with a home game against Brighton this Saturday.
The right-back also needs a good run of form to avoid missing out on a place in the England squad for November’s World Cup.
The Three Lions have long been blessed with great depth at right-back which has limited Alexander-Arnold’s international career, with Gareth Southgate preferring more defensively stable options like Manchester City’s Kyle Walker, Newcastle’s Kieran Trippier and Chelsea’s Reece James.
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