Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold has come in for criticism from former Reds star Jamie Carragher, who suggested the England international needs greater competition.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has already provided the competition for Trent Alexander-Arnold which former Reds favourite Jamie Carragher believes is needed.
Alexander-Arnold was a key member of Liverpool’s squad for their 2019 Champions League win and their Premier League title the following year, but the right-back has come in for criticism this term. Carragher is the latest to point to the defender’s drop-off in the light of Liverpool’s Champions League exit, suggesting he needs more pressure for his place.
This is something which has already benefitted Andy Robertson in the other full-back role, with Kostas Tsimikas bringing the best out of the Scotland defender. Klopp has already made an effort to provide competition to his right-back, though, with Robertson’s compatriot Calvin Ramsay joining over the summer.
The problem they have got in that position is that they’ve never had real competition for Trent Alexander-Arnold in that position and one of the reasons why is because he has been so good and you think ‘Who do you buy? How much do you spend for someone who is not really going to play every week?’,” Carragher told CBS Sports.
“But I think Liverpool are at the point where they have got to go and buy a right-back. That’s Jurgen Klopp’s decision in terms of how good that right-back is and how much he costs, but that lad needs serious competition.
“Because he has been playing for five years at the top level, week in, week out, with no rest, and has done absolutely fantastic and won absolutely everything and won more than I could ever dream of. I’m so proud of him – a local lad coming through the ranks – but he needs help. He needs to at the end of this season have a long think about where he is as a right-back, and I’ve always defended him because he’s played in one of the best teams in the world.”
Liverpool fought off competition from a number of clubs to land Ramsay over the summer. The Scottish youngster had been making an impression at Aberdeen, and arrived as someone who might be prepared to play second fiddle to Alexander-Arnold while working his way into first-team contention.
Unfortunately for Klopp, injuries have stood in the way so far. A problem was detected when Ramsay arrived, delaying his debut, and the youngster had a further setback in February when he confirmed he had gone in for surgery.
In the intervening period, though, there were glimpses of the teenager’s quality. He got minutes for Liverpool’s under-21s as he worked his way up towards full fitness, and a long-awaited full debut arrived against Derby in the Carabao Cup, but this remains one of just two first-team outings.
At 19, Ramsay might not be a ready-made replacement for Alexander-Arnold. This works both ways, though, and he is unlikely to be too frustrated if he is made to wait for minutes while pushing his senior colleague and – ideally – helping the homegrown talent approach his best form once again.