Lineker ‘irritated’ by what people keep saying about ‘wonderful’ Liverpool star

Will Ford
Trent Alexander-Arnold scores Liverpool's winner against Fulham
Trent Alexander-Arnold scores Liverpool's winner against Fulham

Gary Lineker says he gets “irritated” by the criticism aimed at Trent Alexander-Arnold, as the Match of the Day host lauded the Liverpool star as “the best passer of the ball in the English game”.

A tactical tweak from Jurgen Klopp has seen Alexander-Arnold drift more into midfield from right-back this season, and the 25-year-old has come up trumps in Liverpool’s last two games, scoring a late equaliser in the 1-1 draw with Manchester City before a winner in the 3-2 victory over Fulham on Sunday.

Alexander-Arnold has also been used in midfield by Gareth Southgate for England in some of the European qualifiers this season, and Lineker said he thought the Liverpool academy graduate looked like a midfielder when he first broke into the first team and is thoroughly enjoying seeing him in that position.

Speaking on The Rest is Football podcast, Lineker also revealed his frustration at the criticism that’s aimed Alexander-Arnold’s way.

Lineker said: “He is a wonderful footballer. I mean, I have been a fan of his for many years.

“Everyone knows that, in fact from the first few times I saw him I used to think he has got to be a midfield player and I think he was a youngster. It was one of those situations where they see a talent and they think we will get him in the team but you can’t get him in his position.

“He ends up going to right-back and he was so good for so long that he became a right-back. It irritates me a little bit when people say he’s not very good at defending and every slight error or any goal that goes in on that side of the pitch against Liverpool.

“People have a pop at him but I think the positives of his forward play and his passing. I think he is certainly the best passer of the ball in the English game at the moment, and probably in a much bigger area than that, maybe even Europe.

“His range of passing, outside the foot, inside the foot, long passes and short passes and crosses, of course. I’m loving him in this new role where he drifts into midfield.”

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