Pundit critical of Liverpool player who was ‘reluctant’ to do one thing v Leicester

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Not even a commanding 4-0 victory over Leicester on Sunday could spare one Reds player from a pundit’s critique over one aspect of his play.

Gary Gillespie was on co-commentary duty with LFC TV for that match, and he wasn’t entirely happy with Trent Alexander-Arnold over his willingness to ‘get the tackle in’, having reverted to more of a nominal right-back role from the midfield position he’d previously occupied in pre-season.

The pundit said of the 24-year-old at one point during yesterday’s win (via TBR Football): “Just saying about moving into a central position in midfield, I think that when you move into that midfield area, your defensive duties become a little bit different.

“I think if you move him back to full-back where you’ve got to defend a bit more in one-on-one situations, you just get a little bit sloppy defensively. Trent, on a couple of occasions, just looks a little bit reluctant to make contact with players and get the tackle in.”

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Although Trent has been criticised over his perceived defensive failings in the past, the statistics indicate that he did a largely solid job against Leicester upon reverting to right-back.

As per Sofascore, he made one interception and one tackle, had a 100% success rate for crosses and long passes, and completed 44 of his 46 passes in total (96%). He lost possession just three times while on the pitch, a vast improvement on his match average of 21.5 in last season’s Premier League.

There were still some aspects of his play which can be improved upon – he won just one duel on Sunday (50% success rate) and was dribbled past on one occasion.

To be fair to Gillespie, his critiquing of Trent’s tackling wasn’t over the top, and the 24-year-old may still feel there’s more to come from himself in a defensive sense.

All in all, though, his performance had more positive than negatives, and the England international should be able to make a big contribution from Liverpool this season whether he’s deployed at right-back or in his more recent midfield role.

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