‘Always defended well’ – Jurgen Klopp hits back at Gary Neville criticism of Trent Alexander-Arnold as he states Gareth Southgate will be ‘very happy’ with Liverpool star at World Cup

    Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has snapped back at Gary Neville after the pundit claimed Trent Alexander-Arnold can’t be trusted defensively.

    The Reds right-back was named in Gareth Southgate’s 26-man England World Cup squad on Thursday for Qatar.

    Alexander-Arnold has been criticised this season over his defending capabilities

    AFP

    Alexander-Arnold has been criticised this season over his defending capabilities

    After missing out on Euro 2020 through injury, there was speculation that the 24-year-old could also be left out again.

    But he has been called up following Reece James’ injury, though Neville believes that Southgate cannot rely on him in the latter stages of the tournament.

    It caught the attention of Klopp, who has insisted that he doesn’t understand comments made over Alexander-Arnold’s defensive capabilities.

    The German gaffer pointed out that the Liverpool academy graduate has pitted his wits against football’s elite players.

    Speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s clash against Southampton, Klopp said: “I heard Gary Neville say he couldn’t be trusted in the knockout games.

    “But he’s now 24 and won quite a few finals, important games where you have to defend against world-class players.

    Klopp has defended Alexander-Arnold after the right-back made England’s World Cup squad

    AFP

    Klopp has defended Alexander-Arnold after the right-back made England’s World Cup squad

    “He was always there and always defended well. I don’t know why we have this discussion.

    “Trent is very calm and he plays the football he plays and tries to improve.”

    Before adding: “Gareth will be very happy he has Trent.”

    Neville declared after Liverpool’s 2-1 win at Tottenham that he was lucky to avoid not giving away a penalty for a push on Ryan Sessegnon.

    Neville believes that Gareth Southgate can’t trust Alexander-Arnold defensively

    Getty

    Neville believes that Gareth Southgate can’t trust Alexander-Arnold defensively

    The Sky Sports pundit remarked: “At this moment in time, I can’t see how Gareth could go into a knockout game of a World Cup playing Trent Alexander-Arnold.

    “I want this player to be the greatest right-back of all time because he’s got the ability to do that, but today at times again, he looked like he could cost Liverpool dearly.

    “He does rash things. In a World Cup, there would have been a penalty against him today and in a second phase or a quarter-final, he’s given a goal away.

    “I don’t think Gareth will trust him in a knockout game.”

    Alexander-Arnold responded to criticism of himself earlier this month as he stated that ‘people don’t understand’.

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