Premier League

‘Trent Alexander-Arnold needs to get serious about his defending’ - Neville

The Liverpool defender is facing Euro 2020 heartache, according to the ex-England defender, who says his defending is not good enough.

6:53pm on Monday 5th April 2021
Robin Bairner

Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold needs to “get serious about his defending”, according to former England defender Gary Neville.

Surprisingly left out of Gareth Southgate’s England team for the recent World Cup qualifiers, Alexander-Arnold offered his response on Sunday as the Reds overcame Arsenal 3-0 in the Premier League.

However, Neville, who distinguished himself at right-back at club level with Manchester United and at international level with England, can understand why the Liverpool man is being overlooked.

“When I watch Trent Alexander-Arnold, the opposition manager will think: ‘Attack down that side,’” Neville told Sky Sports.

“Look at Liverpool’s left side of their defence. Andy Robertson benefits hugely from that partnership he’s got with Virgil van Dijk. Trent Alexander-Arnold doesn’t have his Van Dijk on that side. He’s not got a centre-back giving him information.”

Neville tips Alexander-Arnold for Euro 2020 heartache

Indeed, Neville believes that Alexander-Arnold will not be going to Euro 2020 as part of the England squad.

“I don’t think Gareth Southgate will include him. I think leaving him out in the March internationals are a precursor to leaving him out in the summer,” he said.

“I don’t think he’d have dropped that bombshell. He’s getting everyone used to the fact that this incredible talent is maybe not going to a tournament – unless Kyle Walker, Kieran Tripper or Reece James gets injured.

“And the reason why I don’t think he’ll go is – I illuded last season a number of times when I was watching in, in the most unbelievable Liverpool leam, in an unbelievable season for Trent Alexander-Arnold, that there will come a point, whereby if he doesn’t become more serious about his defending, and he doesn’t get that intensity into his game – stops crosses, stop shots on goal, stops people scoring in his area – eventually there’ll be a point when the manager asks: ‘Am I’m getting enough from him going forward to cover what I’m losing defensively?’

“In a one-off game in a tournament, a quarter-final or a semi-final, who are England going to be playing? They’re going to be playing Germany, France, Belgium or Portugal. Who’s he going to be playing against? Leroy Sane, Kylian Mbappe, Eden Hazard, Diogo Jota or Cristiano Ronaldo. Who do they want to play against? They’ll think: ‘He’ll leave space in behind, I’ll have Trent.’

“He’s there to win a tournament. I don’t think he will take him.”

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