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Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher believes Jurgen Klopp may need to bring in another right-back to help take the pressure off Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Real Madrid sent the Reds crashing out of the Champions League after Karim Benzema’s strike secured a 1-0 victory at the Bernabeu on the night and a 6-2 aggregate win overall. Liverpool have climbed many mountains under Klopp, but this one was too big for his struggling side.
In the space of less than a year, Liverpool have gone from competing for an unprecedented quadruple to a campaign where they have been knocked out of both domestic cups, the Champions League and are out of the Premier League title race. And with the club also facing an uphill battle to finish in the top four, Carragher earmarked Alexander-Arnold’s performances for extra criticism.
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"That can’t continue,” Carragher bluntly said to CBS Sports. “What's happened this season and the amount of times he's been lacking defensively." Alexander-Arnold attacking contributions are second to very few, but the young Englishman’s defending has been highlighted on many occasions this season.
He struggled at times to cope with the movement and individual brilliance of Vinicius Junior, who scored two goals in Los Blancos’ dominant 5-2 victory at Anfield. And, after Alexander-Arnold’s struggles, not just against the Champions League holders, but in the season as a whole, Carragher believes Klopp may need another option at right back to ease the burden on the academy star.
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"He's won everything, done fantastic and I'm so proud of him, but he needs help,” Carragher added. “He needs to have a long think at the end of the season about where he is as a right-back.
“I've always defended him and he's played for one of the best teams in the world which means you do a lot more attacking than you do defending. We all know his defending isn't good enough – and I don't think it will ever be good enough.
“We're talking about a player who's played 260 games now – it is not going to massively improve. When Liverpool drop off and aren't one of the best in Europe, now they're one of the pack. They now do more defending, less attacking. You see the worst traits of Trent and not his strengths going forward and that's a massive problem.
"If Liverpool are trying to qualify for the Champions League on a yearly basis, I'm not sure Trent is your man at right-back. If they get back to being one of Europe's best, then he is your man, but right now he needs help."
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- Jamie Carragher
- Liverpool FC
- Jurgen Klopp
- Champions League
- FA Cup
- Premier League
- League Cup
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