Former Manchester United centre-back Rio Ferdinand has hit out at former Chelsea player Frank Leboeuf for labeling Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold a “Championship level” defender.Alexander-Arnold, 23, has established himself as one of the best right-backs in the world since his debut in 2018. However, he has recently come under fire for his poor defensive displays for the Reds.
A world-class crosser and a set-piece specialist, the England international has often been Liverpool’s weak point in defense with questions being raised about his marking and work rate.He has scored two goals in nine appearances across all competitions in the ongoing season.
Speaking to Le Journal du Dimanche, Leboeuf shared his thoughts on Alexander-Arnold’s defensive capabilities. He said:
“Look at Trent Alexander-Arnold. I love the guy, his offensive qualities. But defensively, he’s Championship level. Only Jurgen 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.”
Speaking on his YouTube channel FIVE, Ferdinand slammed Lebeouf for his “disrespectful” comments. He responded:
“Are you winding me up? It’s disrespectful, some people get too disrespectful. Leboeuf defensively wasn’t the best by the way, so he’s got a cheek. When you look at Leboeuf you go, ‘Unbelievable on the ball, defensively he’s alright, gives you a chance’.”
“I was in team-talks against him and our gaffer would go ‘He’s unbelievable on the ball, prepare for this’, you had to do a team-talk on Lebouef, he was that good, ridiculous.
But you would go, ‘You get around him, because he will give you a chance’. If he was good enough defensively, you wouldn’t talk about his defensive frailties.”
Alexander-Arnold was dropped from England’s squad for their final UEFA Nations League fixture against Germany. The Three Lions drew the contest 3-3 on Monday (September 26)
Liverpool are currently eighth in the 2022-23 Premier League standings with nine points from six matches. The club will face Brighton & Hove Albion at Anfield in the Premier League on Saturday (October 1).
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