Premier League • England

Liverpool told why Trent Alexander-Arnold in midfield will not work against top teams

Liverpool defenders Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold

Gabby Agbonlahor has revealed why he thinks Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold will not be able to play a midfield role against better Premier League teams.

The former Aston Villa striker feels the Reds still need to sign a top-class right-back this summer who can challenge the England man for his place next season.

Alexander-Arnold has been playing as an inverted right-back in recent Liverpool outings, racking up five assists after tucking into a central midfield role – the latest coming in the 2-1 win at West Ham on Wednesday evening.

Manchester City and Arsenal have both had success playing a full-back in midfield, with John Stones and Oleksandr Zinchenko respectively.

Liverpool are expected to find some competition for Alexander-Arnold, with Klopp set to bring in a number of new arrivals in a revamp of his squad this summer.

Alexander-Arnold’s defensive capabilities have often been called into question, but moving into midfield allows the shackles to be taken off and the 24-year-old appears to be more at home.

However, Agbonlahor is not convinced Alexander-Arnold would be as successful as he has been against better teams.

He told Football Insider: “We’ve only seen him do it in a few games.

“Let’s judge when he’s played an Arsenal, or a Man City, or a Chelsea – when you’ve got top midfielders up against him.

“I would get a right-back no matter what this summer.

“But I think Trent can only play in midfield in certain games. I can’t see it being a full-time thing.

“You wouldn’t want him in the middle in a big Champions League game, because I think he’d get found out.

“But we’ve seen what he can do. When he’s got time with the ball on his right foot, he’s so creative.

“In certain games, I think there’s a place for him but they definitely need a right-back.

“They’ve got to have someone to challenge him. The best teams over the years have had two top options – look at Chelsea with Ashley Cole and Wayne Bridge. Liverpool need that competition.”

The Reds are back in action on Sunday when they host struggling Tottenham at Anfield.

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