Trent Alexander-Arnold‘s defensive capabilities are always under the microscope and Jurgen Klopp is ready to fight in his corner, after another tough test against Gabriel Martinelli.
Wednesday’s win at Arsenal presented the right-back with a challenge against a forward Klopp had previously described as an “outstanding player” earlier this year.
It was a battle that Alexander-Arnold did not come out unscathed, primarily in the first half, but soon found his feet in the contest as the minutes ticked by and Liverpool grew in confidence.
Arsenal scarcely posed a serious threat to Liverpool’s goal but the No. 66 was readily the target with his opposite number seen as the Gunners’ way forward.
But when breaking down the game with Sky Sports, Klopp came out swinging for Alexander-Arnold and his defensive skill set – leaving no room for interpretation with his comments.
“Apart from the diagonal balls to Martinelli, which Trent defended incredibly – Martinelli is such a talented boy – it’s really tricky,” Klopp said.
“If anybody says to me Trent cannot defend, they should come to me, I’ll knock them down. Honestly, I cannot hear that anymore. I don’t know what the boy has to do!”
It’s not the first time that the manager has passionately supported Alexander-Arnold’s defensive qualities as it has been a consistent mark from the outside, especially regarding a place in the England squad.
At the Emirates, Alexander-Arnold won 50 percent of his tackles and ground duels and made six recoveries in a defensive phase, with his output improving in line with the rest of the team.
He is part of a defensive unit that has conceded only 20 across the league season to date and only one in the last seven Premier league games.
And as Klopp previously said, “if he couldn’t defend, he would not play here – at least not that in that position.”