Alexander-Arnold receives legendary endorsement, with Cafu baffled by England snub of Liverpool star who has ‘everything’

Trent-Alexander-Arnold England September 2022

Former Brazil captain Cafu has given his take on the lack of gametime England are giving to Liverpool full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Cafu was one of the best right-backs of all time and lifted the World Cup as captain of Brazil in 2002. Two decades later, in this year’s tournament in Qatar, Alexander-Arnold has been struggling to force his way into England’s plans in the same position.

Indeed, in England’s first two matches of the group stage – a 6-2 drubbing of Iran and a 0-0 stalemate with the USA – Alexander-Arnold was an unused substitute.

Gareth Southgate preferred to pick Newcastle United counterpart Kieran Trippier on the right-hand side of his back four on both occasions. In fact, his entire defensive line remained the same in both starting XIs.

Alexander-Arnold’s struggles to cement his place for his country have been a big topic of debate. With Liverpool, he has established himself as one of the most creative players in his position.

However, there has been evidence of some defensive weaknesses, particularly this season. It has led some pundits to suggest that Southgate cannot rely on him.

But some of those who have made such claims have changed their minds, such as Gary Neville. After the draw with the USA, the ex-England right-back suggested Alexander-Arnold could have made a difference – despite previously doubting his credentials on the international stage.

It remains to be seen who will occupy the right-back role for England’s last game of the group stage, which will be against Wales on Tuesday.

Until then, one of the best ever players to call the position his own – for Brazil – has thrown his support in for Alexander-Arnold.

Cafu claims Alexander-Arnold has ‘everything’

Asked by La Gazzetta Dello Sport what the reasons are for England overlooking Alexander-Arnold, Cafu said: “I don’t understand why.

“He has everything: quality, dribbling, pace, but it’s always the same story, they say you are not defensive enough and you remain out.

“Somebody used to say the same about Roberto Carlos and me, but I think we won something…

“Unfortunately, full-backs are too robotic these days, they get the ball, pass it, and run, I don’t see movements without the ball and no one-two passes.”

This is not the first time Cafu has spread praise for Alexander-Arnold. Back in December 2020, he suggested the Liverpool academy product could help change the perception of the right-back position.

Then, in May 2022, the former Roma and AC Milan star said he saw similarities between himself and the Reds’ number 66.

Alas, Alexander-Arnold hasn’t yet had the chance to showcase his talents at the World Cup this year. No doubt he will be eager to justify his place in the squad, though, after initially being at risk of being left at home completely.

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