'Even better and stronger': Liverpool Champions League winner jumps to defend 'top class' 23-year-old
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'Even better and stronger': Liverpool Champions League winner jumps to defend 'top class' 23-year-old

Champions League winner Djimi Traore is the latest to defend Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold. England dropped the 23-year-old.

Trent Alexander-Arnold just keeps running into criticism. Gareth Southgate left the Liverpool right-back out of his squad to face Germany on Monday evening, opening up the same old conversation.

The suggestion, as usual, is that Alexander-Arnold is such a liability in defence that you can’t afford to play him. How Liverpool managed to do it while boasting the Premier League’s tightest defence in 2019, 2020, and 2022 is anyone’s guess.

Fortunately, plenty have come forward to defend Alexander-Arnold. England international Rio Ferdinand and Glen Johnson are two of those – and now Djimi Traore is the latest.

Traore faced a lot of criticism as a Liverpool player but overcame it to help the Reds win the Champions League in 2005. His goal-line clearance in the final against AC Milan went down in legend.

The former Red believes Alexander-Arnold will come out of all this criticism a better player for it. Traore also wants to point out the Scouser’s success, too.

“I will always backup [Alexander-Arnold] because [he’s a] top class full back and only 23 years old,” Traore wrote on Twitter. “He had so much to give to England and Liverpool.

“The kid won so many trophies already and played big finals too. I’m sure all people who put him down will make him even better and stronger in future.”

Traore moves to defend Trent Alexander-Arnold

Traore is absolutely right, of course. The idea that Alexander-Arnold is such a liability that England – a team just relegated from their Nations League group – can’t afford to play him is laughable. It’s genuinely bizarre that so many buy into it.

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How on earth have Liverpool won all they’ve won if their right-back is a complete liability? It’s impossible to find that success – let alone keep the tightest defence around – if teams merely need to attack down your right flank to score goals.

Hopefully, Traore is also right that Alexander-Arnold will use the criticism to strengthen himself. That’s the overall positive for Liverpool – that and potentially getting a fresh Trent for the second half of the campaign.

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