Jamie Redknapp has pinpointed to Sky Sports News [Friday 08:14 GMT] a number of key areas where Liverpool have suffered a drop-off this season, as well as the noticeable decline of Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Liverpool are already 33 points worse off than they were last season. The Reds are currently 19 points behind league leaders Manchester City, too, and are playing catch-up for a top-four finish.
In the midst of a four-match consecutive losing run, it’s become obvious, then, that the levels from last season’s procession to the title have significantly dropped off – including that of a number of key players.
One player whose game has suffered a significant decline, particularly from a statistical outlook, is Alexander-Arnold.
Last season’s PFA Young Player of the Year clocked up a whopping four goals and 13 assists in the English top-flight last term. This time around, however, his numbers have distinctively fallen off the mark.
He has just one goal and three assists in 23 PL matches this season, after all, and Redknapp, who hailed Alexander-Arnold as the best right back in the world, couldn’t look beyond the 22-year-old’s decline as one of Liverpool’s main causes for concern this season.
Redknapp on Alexander-Arnold
“Levels have dropped,” he told Sky Sports. “Certainly individual players. I think if you were to go throughout the team – the keeper’s not been as good.
“If you look at the right-back, Trent Alexander-Arnold, last year and the year before his levels were so high – best right-back in the world.
“He’s not been the same player this year. What it boils down to in the end is looking at yourself and thinking ‘can I do better?’ And there are a number of players who could be doing better.”
What RTK has to say
Redknapp makes a number of good points. It doesn’t take a forensic investigation to see that Alexander-Arnold – who earns £40,000-a-week, per Spotrac, hasn’t lived up to the standards of last – but which Liverpool player has?
In the absence of Virgil van Dijk, Alexander-Arnold’s game loses a major component.
The Dutchman, after all, not only enables both Liverpool full-backs the licence to get forward, but he also is typically the player to pick out Alexander-Arnold with his pin-point passing range.
It’s no wonder, then, that Alexander-Arnold is suffering without the team’s chief organiser and defensive lynchpin.
The best players in world football elevate the levels of those around them – and that’s certainly been the case with Trent.
There have been glimpses of his quality shining through, though, without his central defensive counterpart, Alexander-Arnold hasn’t quite been able to maintain the levels of last season.
Unfortunately, neither has anyone else.