Jamie Carragher has urged Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool to sign a quality new right-back so that Trent Alexander-Arnold can be unleashed in a midfield role permanently.
Alexander-Arnold got on the scoresheet at the weekend, helping Liverpool to pick up a 1-1 draw against title rivals Manchester City at the Etihad. The 25-year-old received the ball from Mo Salah before taking a touch and sending an arrowed right-footed effort into the bottom corner.
That goal showed what Alexander-Arnold can do in the final third. He has often been used in a hybrid midfield-defence role this season, though this still forces him to get back and help his centre-backs out. And if there is one criticism of the Reds academy graduate, it is that he is not as defensively aware as some of his full-back counterparts in the Premier League.
During an appearance on Sky Sports, Anfield hero Carragher has stated that he ‘would love’ Liverpool to capture a right-back so that Alexander-Arnold can have even more impact on Liverpool attacks.
“Liverpool haven’t got a back-up for Alexander-Arnold as it’s difficult to get quality to sign to sit on the substitutes bench,” the pundit said.
“I would love Liverpool to acquire a right-back who could play in the big games and push Alexander-Arnold into midfield. That could be the development for Liverpool to play him in midfield.”
Carragher went on to compare Alexander-Arnold with legendary Liverpool midfield Steven Gerrard due to one characteristic in particular.
“Liverpool haven’t had a player who can score from that range since Steven Gerrard, one that you think has got a chance from 20-25 yards,” he added.
Neville follows Carragher lead with big praise
Fellow pundit Gary Neville, meanwhile, labelled Alexander-Arnold ‘sensational’ and claimed him to be ‘equal’ with Manchester City ace Kevin de Bruyne.
“I’ve been critical of him at times. This is a sensational football player, and a striker of a ball you just don’t see,” Neville said.
“Man City have De Bruyne injured, who is world class in terms of delivery, striking of the ball and passing. Trent is the equal of him – and he’s a right-back! Not a traditional right back, but that’s where he plays.
“Just get that little bit more serious about your defending – but I thought his attitude towards his defending was very good today.
“All he has to be as a defender is sort of semi-competent, not the best in the world. But what he does have to be is not a liability, and there has been time over recent years where that has been a standout feature, where he has been too easy to beat or get at.
“He keeps going, his performances on the ball are out of this world.”
Neville added that the Englishman can become ‘the very best right-back of all time’, but only if he works a bit harder on his defending.
Liverpool were linked with Benjamin Pavard as a possible new right-back earlier this year. However, he ended up signing for Italian giants Inter instead. Plus, Pavard actually prefers to operate as a centre-half.
After that transfer miss, Liverpool may end up targeting Inter star Denzel Dumfries or Bayer Leverkusen’s Jeremie Frimpong next.