Monday 19 February 2018

Jamie Carragher hails Trent Alexander-Arnold as 'the perfect full-back', says he's ready for first team

Liverpool's Divock Origi celebrates scoring their first goal with Trent Alexander-Arnold last night. Reuters / Phil Noble
Liverpool's Divock Origi celebrates scoring their first goal with Trent Alexander-Arnold last night. Reuters / Phil Noble

Jack de Menezes

Jamie Carragher has labelled Trent Alexander-Arnold the “perfect full-back” after his display in Liverpool’s 2-0 EFL Cup victory over Leeds United, despite his teammate Ben Woodburn taking the plaudits after becoming the club’s youngest ever goalscorer.

While manager Jürgen Klopp has to play down expectations of Woodburn following his breakthrough performance, Carragher was keen to praise the display of the 18-year-old right-back, whose cross enabled striker Divock Origi to put the Reds ahead at Anfield in what was a laboured display from the Premier League side.

Rumours that Alexander-Arnold led Liverpool out the last time they played Leeds as a mascot proved to be false after the teenager confirmed it was not him, but he certainly made his impression on the Yorkshire side as he set-up the opener in the 76th minute before Woodburn doubled the lead five minutes later.

Speaking as part of Sky Sports’ live coverage of the EFL Cup, Carragher said: “We know now why Jürgen Klopp only went in with one recognised right back this season. His performance tonight was the same as against Spurs.

“He just looks like a footballer, a fantastic athlete, perfect for the full back position.

“He's only 18, so you think about how he's going to look physically in three or four years’ time. He looks like he's already got the legs and the pace. The strength will come too.”

A number of Liverpool fans lauded Alexander-Arnold’s performance on social media, and joined Carragher in claiming that they do not need to fear if first-choice right-back Clyne is injured given that Klopp doesn’t have anyone else who can naturally play on the right of the defence.

“If Clyne goes out of the team through injury or suspension, he's in,” Carragher added.

“Clyne is an England international and he's still got a long way to go this lad, but to have an 18-year-old kid as your back-up full back, thinking how big a club Liverpool are fighting on all fronts, challenging at the top of the league, it shows the faith Jürgen Klopp has in him.

“Massive credit to Jürgen Klopp, and the academy staff, Alex Inglethorpe, Steve Heighway.

“But never ever forget, it's still the player who has to do it on the pitch. He's done it twice and been outstanding.”

Alexander-Arnold is yet to make his first appearance in the Premier League, with his only other first-team outing coming in the 2-1 victory over Tottenham in the previous round of the EFL Cup. He was actually named on the substitutes’ bench for Liverpool’s opening game of the season at Arsenal, but failed to come on in the 4-3 victory and has since made a combination of nine appearances for Liverpool Under-23s and England Under-19s.

Independent News Service

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