Dave Davis discusses the recent form of Liverpool’s homegrown Trent Alexander-Arnold after a few weak defensive displays.
Football can be an unforgiving business. However, if you have a Mohammed Salah in your ranks there are certain things you can get away with.
It would be hugely unfair to zone in on Trent Alexander-Arnold as the sole reason for Liverpool conceding in recent away games, but it’s not been the greatest period for the West Derby born youngster.
This evening’s Champions League tie against Manchester City and Leroy Sane will tell us how quickly the England under-21 international learns a lesson.
It’s been a positive season overall for the Liverpool youngster and there’s a strong argument from many that his recent experiences will serve him well. The 19-year-old has three goals and an assist to date this season and has even been mooted as an outside shot for England’s World Cup squad.
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Alexander-Arnold possesses an excellent range of passing and is arguably the best crosser of the ball at the club.
In the last few weeks though, there are real questions being asked of the Kirkby academy product and the answers coming back haven’t been great. Defeat against United and Saturday’s game against Palace have been notable for the soft goals conceded. Alexander-Arnold isn’t solely responsible, but the opposition appear to be targeting a player who doesn’t always appear fully switched on when the attacker makes that run from out to in.
There’s not a left-sided winger in better form than Leroy Sane right now and Liverpool’s current right-back will have his hands full midweek. The likes of Silva and De Bruyne may well look to target that area and Alexander-Arnold will need to be at his best.
Shearer et al maybe quick to praise a second-half performance that saw dangerous crosses and attacking intent, but Crystal Palace are no Manchester City.
Joe Gomez has shared right back responsibilities this season and isn’t without culpability at times too. Away goals conceded at Arsenal and West Ham saw question marks asked of the full England international, but injury rules him out. There is a clamour for Nathanial Clyne to return, however, a champions league quarter final isn’t the time to begin your campaign. All parties know Liverpool’s number 66 will start at right back, fitness permitting.
We are talking about a player with real ability and youngsters will always make mistakes as they’re learning, but it’s how the lessons are applied that tell you the most about a player. Football is a ruthless game and opposition sides will always prey upon any weaknesses to gain an advantage.
This evening will tell us how much Alexander-Arnold has taken onboard.