Jamie Carragher says Liverpool must buy a new right-back to ease the pressure on Trent Alexander-Arnold, admitting the Reds star may never be ‘good enough’ defensively.
Alexander-Arnold has played an integral role in Liverpool’s success under Jurgen Klopp, shining as one of the best attacking right-backs in world football.
His defensive contribution has continued to come under scrutiny this season, however. Liverpool were dumped out of the Champions League by Real Madrid by a 6-2 aggregate scoreline on Wednesday night with the 24-year-old given a torrid evening by Vinicius Jr at the Bernabeu, losing the Brazilian in the build-up to Real’s goal with Karim Benzema eventually slotting home.
The England international has been Liverpool’s only recognised right-back option for a number of seasons with Carragher highlighting the lack of competition as a major factor in his struggles.
‘What’s happened this season with him lacking defensively can’t continue,’ Carragher told CBS Sports. ‘The problem they have got in that position is they have never had real competition. And one of the reasons why is because he has been so good.
‘You think, who do you buy, how much do you spend for someone who is not really going to play every week. Liverpool are at the point now where they have got to go and buy a right-back. It’s Jurgen Klopp’s decision in terms of how good that right-back is and how much he costs.
‘But that lad needs serious competition. He has played at that top level, week in week out for five years. He’s done fantastic and I’m so proud of him.
‘But he needs help. And at the end of this season, have a long think about where he is at as a right-back.’
With Alexander-Arnold at his most dangerous during Liverpool’s glory years winning the Champions League and the Premier League, he fears the England international will continue to see his ‘worst traits’ exposed the further his former side fall back among Europe’s ‘chasing pack’
Carragher continued: ‘We all know his defending isn’t good enough and I don’t know if it will ever be good enough. We are talking about a player who has played 260 games. He is not going to massively improve now.
‘When Liverpool drop off and aren’t one of the best teams in Europe and are one of the pack going for the Champions League, you do more defending, less attacking and you see the worst traits of Trent and not his strengths which is a massive problem.
‘I thought this problem would rear its head when Klopp left and Liverpool drop back. 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 Liverpool get back to being one of the best teams in Europe which they will try do next season, he is your man. But right now the lad needs help.’
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