Jamie Carragher has encouraged Liverpool to sign a right-back this summer so there is “real competition” for Trent Alexander-Arnold next season.
The Englishman has been heavily criticised in recent months. Liverpool’s struggles this season have meant that they have had less attacking to do and this has further exposed Alexander-Arnold’s defensive frailties.
There is no doubt that Alexander-Arnold is a special talent, but his work in defensive areas is his weakness. He started as Liverpool lost 1-0 to Real Madrid in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie. This defeat saw the Premier League side lose 6-2 on aggregate.
Liverpool are now set to focus on finishing in the top four. They have difficult games coming up against Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal.
Ahead of these games, Carragher has argued that Liverpool have “got to go and buy a right-back” and Alexander-Arnold “needs to have a long think at the end of the season”.
“The problem they’ve got in that position is they’ve never really had real competition for Trent Alexander-Arnold. One of the reasons why is because he’s been so good. So you think ‘well who do you buy? How much do you spend?’ for someone who isn’t really going to play every week,” Carragher told CBS Sports.
“But I think Liverpool are at the point now where they’ve got to go and buy a right-back. That’s Jurgen Klopp’s decision in terms of how good that right-back is, how much he costs. But that lad needs serious competition because he’s been playing now for five years at the top level, week in week out, with no rest.
“He’s won everything, he’s done absolutely fantastic, he’s won more than I could ever dream of and I’m so proud of him, a local lad coming through the ranks, but he needs help. He needs to have a long think at the end of the season about where he is as a right-back.”
Carragher went on to suggest that he’s “not sure” if Alexander-Arnold is right for Liverpool if they are “trying to qualify for the Champions League on a yearly basis.
“When Liverpool drop off and aren’t one of the best teams in Europe, like they have been for the last few years, now they’re one of the pack going for the Champions League. Then you’re doing more defending, less attacking,” Carragher added.
“You see the worst traits of Trent and not his strengths going forward and that’s a massive problem. I thought this problem would rear its head when Klopp left and maybe Liverpool drop back to when I was a player when most seasons we were trying to finish in the top four.
“If Liverpool are trying to qualify for the Champions League on a yearly basis, I’m not sure Trent is your man at right-back. If they get back to being one of Europe’s best, which is what they will try and do next season, he is your man, but right now the lad needs help.”
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