Rio Ferdinand and Michael Owen agree about what is key to Trent Alexander-Arnold performing well for Liverpool.
The Reds full-back was the star in the Champions League group stage win over Glasgow Rangers. Liverpool claimed a 2-0 victory at Anfield, with Alexander-Arnold on the score sheet.
Alexander-Arnold found the back of the net with a free-kick early on in the contest. A Mohamed Salah penalty in the second half secured the victory for Jurgen Klopp’s side.
The past few weeks have seen Alexander-Arnold subject to plenty of criticism in certain quarters. Those intensified after the weekend’s draw with Brighton, but Ferdinand has explained why one Liverpool player is key to helping the right-back perform at his best.
With the ball he’s a magician,” Ferdinand told BT Sport. “The numbers he’s putting up in recent seasons have never been seen from a full-back in this country. In that sense, he’s the modern full-back.
“Where he has been questioned, is in defensive positions and I think he’ll be honest enough to say there is a part of that and there have been lapses in concentration and things he can clean up on.
“I’m one of them who likes to look at the good things in players, what they bring to the team and this team has been built to get the best out of him in the attacking sense.
“We saw a lot of that in his passing, maybe not as normal, but where he does go and vacate was very much protected by Jordan Henderson and I think that factor there plays into him performing his best when he’s Trent Alexander-Arnold.”
Owen was in agreement with Ferdinand about Henderson’s importance. The former Liverpool striker went on to explain why Alexander-Arnold is a “different player” with his captain in the side.
“I thought Jordan Henderson was key today, you saw the shape he was playing, in the first half he was filling in for him every time he went forward,” Owen told BT Sport. “To have that insurance behind you when you’re going forward must be a great thing.
“He gets in forward positions and that means there’s a gap there but when someone’s plugging it, it means he doesn’t have to worry about what’s behind him and that’s key. If he’s got Jordan Henderson in the team, I think we see a different player. “