Bayern Munich fullback, Benjamin Pavard, was delivering his best Zlatan Ibrahimovic impression when firing a dig at Trent Alexander-Arnold over his defensive ability.
Speaking in the third-person, the Frenchman described himself as a comparatively ‘more complete’ player, when it comes to defensive duties, than his Liverpool counterpart.
“If the great coaches put me on the right side, it is because they have confidence in my abilities,” the Bundesliga star told Goal.
“With [Didier] Deschamps, I have always been a holder. If he trusts me it’s not for my beautiful eyes or my hair. He is aware of my qualities.
“After that I have to improve in certain areas: I have to take more risks, more initiatives, I am aware of this and I work on this on a daily basis.
“A defender must first defend well. On paper, Pavard may be less sexy than Hakimi, Arnold, but I find that defensively I am more complete.”
The 25-year-old has featured sporadically for the German top-flight’s incumbent champions due to an ankle injury and a red card suspension in the league this term.
The myth that the 23-year-old is a poor defender is one that has frustratingly persisted over time, despite only a handful of defensive lapses existing to support such a fragile argument.
The reality of the situation, regardless of what Pavard considers to be a defender’s priority, however, is that the modern fullback is a far more integral role than it used to be – particularly so in a Jurgen Klopp side.
As far as right-backs go, our No.66 is, on his day, categorically the leading player in his position and we’ll be hoping to see Alexander-Arnold demonstrate that point this evening when we face Atletico Madrid in the Champions League.