Cafu says people are wrong about Trent Alexander-Arnold as they were with him
Photo by Eddie Keogh - The FA/The FA via Getty Images

Cafu says people are wrong about Trent Alexander-Arnold as they were with him

Brazilian legend Cafu doesn’t understand how Trent Alexander-Arnold isn’t playing at the World Cup. The Liverpool star is on England’s bench.

Trent Alexander-Arnold is yet to feature at the World Cup, with Gareth Southgate keeping him on England’s bench. In truth, it was unclear whether the Scouser would even go to Qatar until the squad was announced.

Southgate has never entirely trusted Alexander-Arnold, though. He’s left him out of the squad before, while he rarely gives him game-time. Thus far, he’s yet to give the Liverpool star any minutes.

That’s something that shocks Cafu. The World Cup-winning captain can’t believe that Alexander-Arnold isn’t playing for England and sees criticism of his defending as strange. Though it’s something he went through himself.

“I don’t understand why [he’s not playing],” Cafu told Gazzetta Dello Sport. “He has everything: quality, dribbling, shooting.

“But it’s the usual story, they tell you you don’t defend enough and stay out. Sometimes someone said that about me and Roberto Carlos. It seems to me that we won something, no…

“Unfortunately, the game of the full-backs is now robotic: catch, touch, pass, run. I see few one-twos, nobody without the ball.”

Trent Alexander-Arnold at the World Cup

Alexander-Arnold is unfortunate to play for the one country in the world that doesn’t rate him. We’ve seen Roberto Carlos make similar comments as Cafu recently. Both Fabio Capello and Arrigo Sacchi picked him as their right-back in world XIs recently, too.

It’s hard to think of another player who has accomplished so much and yet see it disregarded because of perceived weakness. Alexander-Arnold has won every club trophy, made the World, European, and Premier League Teams of the Year, won PFA Young Player of the Year and broken all sorts of records for assists. And he’s done it all by 24.

Photo by Eddie Keogh – The FA/The FA via Getty Images

Claims that he’s a defensive liability don’t hold up, either, given Liverpool had the league’s best defence in 2019, 2020 and 2022. He can quite plainly operate in a world-class defence. Claims that you wouldn’t use him in a knockout tie don’t make any sense, either, when he has more experience in winning knockout ties than any defender in England’s squad. By far, in fact.

It’s a strange one and always has been. Cafu doesn’t understand his lack of minutes – and we don’t either.

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