Liverpool defender Ibrahima Konate has claimed that teammate Trent Alexander-Arnold is a ‘complete’ footballer.
Alexander-Arnold has come in for plenty of criticism this season for a perceived lack of defensive ability. But having now been moved into a hybrid midfield/right-back role, the 24-year-old is starting to shine once again.
Just last night, Trent demonstrated his prodigious quality with two sublime assists against Leeds United. And speaking via The Daily Mail after Liverpool’s impressive 6-1 win, Konate praised his teammate, whilst also urging him to remember his defensive duties.
“We have to remember he is a complete player with lots of assets and abilities, both offensively and defensively. He won’t be forgetting his defensive duties because I can’t cover him all the time – I’m only human!” joked the Frenchman.
With Trent moving infield, it will often be left to Ibou to make sure the door remains closed on Liverpool’s right. Despite his howler last night, we can’t think of a better man for the job.
Konate gives Trent the freedom to roam
Alexander-Arnold’s change in position is of course first and foremost because of what he can give Liverpool from that position. His range of passing and vision with the ball at his feet is better than almost any player on the planet.
Having struggled to find his feet when forced to defend, it now feels like a natural progression for the England international.
But it must also be recognised that the change wouldn’t be possible without a strong defender behind him. For example, it’s hard to imagine Jurgen Klopp would give Trent the same freedom if Dejan Lovren were Liverpool’s starting right centre-back.
In Konate though, Liverpool have someone who they know they can rely on. Yes, he does have the odd rick in him. The way he gave up the ball for Luis Sinisterra to score last night was incredibly disappointing. By and large though, he’s growing into a supreme defender.
Now undisputedly Liverpool’s go-to centre-half next to Virgil van Dijk, the France star is set to be a mainstay in the Reds side for years to come. At twenty-three and twenty-four respectively, he and Trent are building up a partnership that could last for a long time yet.