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Trent Alexander-Arnold is ‘Championship level defensively’, says World cup winner

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Trent Alexander-Arnold’s defensive abilities have been described as ‘Championship level’ by former Chelsea defender Frank Leboeuf.

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The England and Liverpool full-back has come in for some criticism amid the Reds’ shaky start to the season.

He earned a place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for their Nations League clashes against Italy and Germany.  However, it’s felt he’s behind Reece James, Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier for that coveted starting spot at right-back.

There’s no doubting Alexander-Arnold’s qualities going forward but Leboeuf believes his defensive skills are some way off the level he’s playing at.

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Leboeuf, who was part of France’s World Cup winning squad in 1998, also believes the 23-year-old is only capable of playing in the system devised by Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.

“Look at Trent Alexander-Arnold. I love the guy, his offensive qualities. But defensively, he’s Championship level,” he said in an interview with Journal du Dimanche, as quoted by Goal.

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“Only Klopp’s system works for him. When it doesn’t work as well as it has this season, 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’.

“It was Roberto Carlos who deformed generations of defenders.”

Alexander-Arnold didn’t feature in England’s defeat to Italy and it remains to be seen whether he’ll play a part in their final match before the World Cup, which sees them face Germany, live on talkSPORT.

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And former Liverpool star Danny Murphy believes Southgate won’t take Alexander-Arnold to Qatar in November.

Murphy told talkSPORT: “I don’t think he goes. I don’t think that Gareth will pick him. Would I pick him? Yes.

“In terms of the right-backs that we’ve got people will have different choices because we are blessed with them.

“The thing that Trent gives you that none of the others do is that even if you don’t start him, he can do things from an attacking point of view that the others can’t.

“He sees passes that others don’t see and he can cross the ball better than any of them.

“I’m not suggesting that Kieran Trippier and Reece James aren’t good crossers, but Trent is a creative player.”

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