Pundit Steve Nicol has slammed Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold for his performance against Newcastle United yesterday.
He was particularly critical of the way he defended against Allan Saint-Maximin; worried at the prospect of him going up against Real Madrid winger Vinicius Junior on Tuesday.
Speaking on ESPN FC, the Scotsman claimed the Reds defender will be vulnerable against the Brazilian when the two sides match up.
“How do you feel about Vinicius against Alexander-Arnold?” Nicol was asked.
“No thanks,” he replied.
“Listen, Alexander-Arnold today when Saint-Maximin had to come inside when they went down to ten men, he must have been saying ‘thank you very much’, because he had no idea what was going on.
“And that’s against a guy who can be good. The difference between Saint-Maximin and Vini is a world apart.
“Vini knows what he’s doing. Vini’s got the confidence and the football brain to take advantage of situations against Alexander-Arnold.
“If he gets as much of the ball as he did in this game against Osasuna, then it’s going to be trouble.”
Nicol slams Alexander-Arnold
This is certainly unfair criticism from Nicol.
For the majority of the game, the right-back did well defending against Saint-Maximin, who is a tricky player to mark.
He also looked very strong going forward. His lofted pass over the top to Darwin Nunez was absolutely superb, and it led to the opening goal of the game.
Alexander-Arnold continued to cause plenty of problems with balls delivered from out wide – a trait we haven’t seen too much from him this season.
Thus, the 24-year-old performed far better than Nicol made out, especially since the Reds kept a clean-sheet.
Looking forward to Tuesday, Vinicius is one of the best players in world football.
However, the Scouser has dealt with these stars on numerous occasions – and this Champions League fixture shouldn’t be any different.