Joe Cole admitted he wouldn’t trust Trent Alexander-Arnold to be defensively robust enough in a back four for England were Gareth Southgate’s men to come up against Kylian Mbappe’s France.
The Liverpool fullback has endured much in the way of criticism for his performances this season.
“Would you play him in a back four against Mbappe? Probably not,” the former Chelsea star told ITV (via Rousing the Kop). “Would you play him in a back five against most teams? I would. At twenty-four, I still think there is improvement from him.”
It’s telling, however, that the No.66 suggested the defensive side to his game had been far from disastrous, despite claims to the contrary.
To be completely fair on the matter, there’s no question that the 24-year-old, much in a similar vein to other key performers within our squad, has been far from his best so far.
A complete lack of assists in 20 appearances in club football after registering 19 in 47 last season certainly reflects that statement.
We’re keeping our fingers crossed that he can continue to enjoy an upward trajectory alongside the club and prove his critics wrong in the second-half of the campaign.
He may not get much in the way of opportunities to do so sooner, given Southgate’s evident lack of faith in his abilities, though we’re certain Jurgen Klopp can nurture the best out of him come December.