Liverpool have had their defensive frailties this season and many fans would argue that Trent has been the root of the problem. The English international has suffered a huge dip in form which has led to Liverpool struggling in the league.
Trent Alexander- Arnold is the name on every fan and pundit’s lips at the moment and for all the wrong reasons. His recent exertion from the England squad was a key moment for the Liverpool right back and it is a direct link to his poor form.
Liverpool currently sits 10th in the Premier League and of course, it is not just Trent that has had his issues at Liverpool. Their lacklustre start cannot be pinned just on the right back.
However, it cannot be argued that the bulk of goals that Liverpool have conceded this season have come from the right-hand side. It is a combination of Trent bombing forward and whoever plays the right centre-mid role, not tracking their man.
The recent 3-2 loss at the Emirates highlighted that frailty and Trent was taken off at halftime after Martinelli made it very difficult for him in the first half. The English fullback only has 0.47 ariel duels won and this was underlined in the first game of the season when Mitrovic of Fulham towered above him to score.
Regardless of Trent’s defensive fragility, he is still providing an outstanding output. Trent now has 3 goals and 1 assist in all competitions and his recent freekick against Rangers proves his undeniable dead ball ability.
Trent has also been in the Premier League team of the season for three seasons in a row and has been far and away England’s and the league’s best right back. However, this season he looks like a shadow of his former self, and his confidence has been rocked by his poor form.
He has suffered most in the Premier League this season and Liverpool’s injury list has not helped matters.
Liverpool’s system is based on key players being fit and the system is just not working recently. Jurgen Klopp recently defended Trent in a press conference and said, “I have never seen a right back like this, he’s an outstanding football player in a situation where there are 3 other fantastic English right backs.”
Jurgen Klopp has backed Trent time and time again and it’s no wonder why as the Englishman provides Liverpool with outrageous assists and a lot of their attacking movements come through the fullback. Trent has 8.76 progressive carries and 88.5 passes attempted per 90 and is the vocal point on that right-hand side for the Reds.
Trent’s range of passes is off the charts with him providing 24.1 short passes, 27.44 medium passes, and 14.31 long passes completed per 90. His ability to pull off any type of pass should not be ignored. On the other hand, his effectiveness this season has not been the same as in previous seasons and this has seen his form dip.
The English fullback only has 0.88 tackles won per 90 and is dribbled past 1.15 times per 90. His defensive side of the game must improve, and we all know how good he is going forward, some fans would argue his output out ways his defensive frailties. However, this season, the poor defensive side of his game has been displayed.
It is now up to Jurgen Klopp and his backroom staff to get Trent back to his best and the World Cup could be the perfect time as it is still uncertain as to whether Gareth Southgate will take Liverpool’s right back.
With Joe Gomez impressing as deputy of Trent, the right back may struggle to get back into the team with Klopp desperately seeking a defensive unit. Moreover, Trent could be deployed in the right midfield position with Jurgen Klopp experimenting with a 4-4-2.
Klopp may utilise Mohammed Salah’s finishing ability and put him up front alongside either Firmino, Jota, or Nunez. You can’t help but feel Trent’s deliveries would be a dream for any forward and the goals will flow with a player such as Trent Alexander-Arnold’s crossing ability.
There are a few options for Jurgen Klopp to look at, however, it looks as if he will stick with his man and trust him to get back to his best.
Trent Alexander-Arnold is one of the biggest talents in the world and in order to get the best out of him, it Is vital that he starts, and carries on his trajectory to be one of the best right backs of all time.