Rio Ferdinand believes that Trent Alexander-Arnold has ‘every club in the bag’ to be a midfielder at Liverpool but thinks Jurgen Klopp will not take that gamble and continue playing him at full-back.
The 22-year-old was one of Liverpool’s better players, despite the Reds suffering a Champions League exit after a 0-0 draw against Real Madrid on Wednesday evening. Jurgen Klopp’s men dominated at Anfield but couldn’t find the net and lost 3-1 on aggregate in the quarter-final tie.
The full-back scored a brilliant late winner against Aston Villa in the Premier League at Anfield on Saturday. That came after he struggled in the first clash with Real in Spain and was also dropped by England.
However, the young defender has been back to his best on Liverpool’s last two games. That prompted a favoutrable reaction from BT Sport trio Ferdinand, Michael Owen and Gary Lineker, who all think Alexander-Arnold could play further forward.
“I just think he’s too good to be a full-back,” Lineker remarked, before Ferdinand said: “He’s got every club in the bag.
“We’ve seen Cancelo at Man City do it this season, we’ve seen Kimmich do it, Lahm’s done it, switched positions. Has he got the ability to do it?
“He was a midfielder as a kid, so I believe he has. It’s all about the manager and the structure of the team. But I don’t see Klopp switching him from a full-back.
“I understand the shouts for him to do midfield. But at the same time, when he has the ball, he only has people from his left side coming and pressuring him a lot of the time.
“In midfield, you’ve got pressure coming at you from a whole 360, so it’s a different kind of pressure. He’s always facing up in the game because he thinks all you have to do is receive the ball. With your back to play, it’s a whole different dynamic playing in centre-midfield.”
Owen then concluded: “This was a lot more like it from Liverpool in general. They just looked themselves tonight and when they look themselves, the full-backs create havoc.
“He [Alexander-Arnold] gets forward, he makes late runs, he can hit it across with his left and right foot. He was pinging balls in, you didn’t know what side he was going to hit it, yet alone which foot he was going to hit it with. He’s a stunning, stunning player and the spotlight is on him.”
Liverpool angered by Real bus inicident
Liverpool have released a statement and condemned the smashing of a window in a Real Madrid team coach.
A club spokesman said the behaviour “of a few individuals” was “totally unacceptable and shameful”.
Hundreds of fans lined Anfield Road, very few wearing masks or observing social distancing, to greet both teams as they arrived for the Champions League quarter-final second leg with a number setting off flares and smoke cannisters.
When one of Real’s buses parked up at the Kop end of the ground after the team had disembarked, it was apparent one pane of a double-glazed window had been smashed and Liverpool staff were seen cleaning up a pile of broken glass on the ground with Merseyside Police officers in attendance.
“We condemn unequivocally the actions that led to Real Madrid’s team bus being damaged during its arrival to Anfield this evening,” said a Liverpool spokesman.
“It is totally unacceptable and shameful behaviour of a few individuals. We sincerely apologise to our visitors for any distress caused.
“We will work together with Merseyside Police to establish the facts and identify those responsible.”