Premier League • England

Liverpool can accept ‘really big deal’ for regular Klopp starter suitable for Barcelona transfer

Trent Alexander-Arnold, Mohamed Salah, September 2022

Trent Alexander-Arnold is a “Barcelona type of player”, one observer has claimed after advising Liverpool to consider cashing in on the right-back.

It has been a challenging season for Liverpool and Alexander-Arnold has been one of their players facing the most scrutiny. His defensive flaws have been exposed more than ever, leading to concerns about his role in the team.

Recently, former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher questioned whether he would even have the trust of another manager other than Jurgen Klopp.

Indeed, Alexander-Arnold is a one-club man by this stage of his career. Klopp has been his coach for the entire duration of his spell in the Liverpool first team.

But could the full-back’s future be at risk? According to talkSPORT pundit Tony Cascarino, Liverpool might have to listen to offers for Alexander-Arnold – who he feels would be suitable for Barcelona – in order to regenerate other areas of their squad.

Cascarino said on the radio station: “Who would you say is at the right age, is the most favourable player at Liverpool [for other clubs] at the moment? You’d probably say Trent.

“Even though he’s had a difficult year, Trent is of an age – he’s 24 – where you can still get a really big deal for him.

“He’s a Barcelona type of player, or a team that wants to play the way Trent does.

“They’ve still got some young lads they’re excited about at Liverpool. But it’s a very difficult one to imagine how Liverpool and how Klopp are going to deal with what’s in front of them.

“It’s a challenge because Manchester United have spent big; Chelsea will always do that. Arsenal are quite clearly an emerging club with a very young team. So there are now a lot more competitors around Liverpool for the Champions League spots.”

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Barcelona move for Alexander-Arnold only sounds hypothetical

Alexander-Arnold is still under contract with Liverpool for another two seasons after the present one. Historically, he has stood out for his ability to provide assists, but even those figures have reduced this season.

Barcelona are looking to strengthen at right-back this summer. But whether they would be able to afford a move for someone of Alexander-Arnold’s calibre could be seriously questioned.

It still seems unlikely that Liverpool would let go of their academy graduate easily, even after a sub-standard season.

But if they do need to make a sacrifice in order to replenish their squad – such as when they cashed in on Philippe Coutinho to effectively accommodate the 2018 signings of Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker – then Alexander-Arnold might actually remain one of their most marketable players.

It would open up a new transfer dilemma for Klopp over how to replace him at right-back. The bulk of what transfer funds are available this summer should be going towards new midfielders.

Despite the arrival of young prospect Calvin Ramsay last summer, Liverpool would need to invest in another right-back if Alexander-Arnold was sent away. It would seem like an added complication to their summer transfer activity.

Therefore, the concept of selling Alexander-Arnold seems hypothetical for now. But Liverpool might have to make some kind of difficult decisions in the upcoming transfer window, whether it relates to him or not.

Meanwhile, a £60m transfer to strengthen their midfield might be falling into place.