Liverpool: Trent Alexander-Arnold criticised by ex-Chelsea star over defensive ability

Trent Alexander-Arnold, Liverpool
(Image credit: Ivan Romano/Getty Images)

Liverpool (opens in new tab) right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold has had his defending labelled as "Championship level" by former Chelsea (opens in new tab) centre-half Frank Leboeuf.

Jurgen Klopp's side have made an inconsistent start to the season – picking up only nine Premier League points from a possible 18 – and it's fair to say Alexander-Arnold has been well below his best so far.

The 23-year-old was at fault for the first league goal Liverpool conceded this term – Aleksandar Mitrovic's header for Fulham (opens in new tab) in their 2-2 draw on the opening weekend of the campaign – and had a torrid time of things in this month's 4-1 Champions League thrashing by Napoli (opens in new tab).

A master creator, Alexander-Arnold's deficiencies off the ball have been highlighted plenty of times in the past – but Leboeuf believes that the Reds' recent struggles have made them more obvious.

Candid close-up shot of Frank Leboeuf

Critical: Frank Leboeuf (Image credit: Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)

Speaking to French newspaper Journal du Dimanche (via the Liverpool ECHO), the 54-year-old – who won four major trophies with Chelsea and the 1998 World Cup with France (opens in new tab)said (opens in new tab):

"Look at Trent Alexander-Arnold. I love the guy, his offensive qualities – but defensively, he's Championship level.

"Only Klopp's system works for him. When it doesn't work as well as it [usually does], all you see is his defensive shortcomings.

"I want to take him with me to work on the basics. I would say to him: 'Turn your head and look behind you; it will be better already'."

Having been an unused substitute for Friday's Nations League loss to Italy, Alexander-Arnold has been left out of the matchday squad for England (opens in new tab)'s final game before the World Cup 2022 – Monday night's clash with Germany at Wembley – casting doubt over whether Gareth Southgate will take him to Qatar.

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