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Alexander-Arnold answers age-old retort to consolidate Klopp’s confusion


Trent Alexander-Arnold was in exceptional form against Inter Milan as Liverpool scraped into the Champions League quarter-finals despite losing the second leg at Anfield

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Liverpool v Inter Milan: Match in pictures

When Gareth Southgate names his latest England squad next week, there will be the odd fresh debate.

Should Marcus Rashford be in the group? Should Jordan Pickford still be an automatic starter?

And, of course, there will be the odd old chestnut.

Trent Alexander-Arnold? Finest right-back the world has ever seen? Or an international back-up? An England reserve?

Don’t forget, it was not that long ago when Alexander-Arnold could not make Southgate’s squad.

But this season, he is top of the Premier League assist chart and Jurgen Klopp cannot understand why there are any doubts about his elite rating.

In the first half of the clash with Inter Milan, Alexander-Arnold created all three Liverpool chances (albeit two from set-piece situations), had the most touches and delivered the most crosses.

Who was Liverpool’s best player vs Inter Milan? Have your say in the comments below.

Trent Alexander-Arnold produced another standout display for Liverpool
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Image:

Ian Stephen/ProSports/REX/Shutterstock)

That is all becoming standard stuff for Alexander-Arnold.

But then comes the routine riposte … he is not a great defender and the last time people checked, that was part of a full-back’s job.

Well, in addition to being a fundamental part of almost every decent Liverpool attack against Inter, Alexander-Arnold also made the case for his defence.

On three occasions in an opening spell in which the Serie A leaders were very obviously up for the task, Alexander-Arnold made three interventions that suggested his defensive instincts are sharper than some think.

And early in the second half, he ended a promising Inter move with a timely header only moments after causing panic in visiting ranks with yet another cross.

He certainly was not culpable when Lautaro Martinez gave Inter brief hope ahead of the Alexis Sanchez dismissal.

In short, to this observer, he was one of the best – if not the best – players on the park.

And whatever reservations anyone still has about his defending, that is why he should be central to Southgate’s plans.

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