‘What he’s good at…’ – Rio Ferdinand’s Trent verdict refreshingly contrasts with ex-Man Utd teammates

Posted by

Plenty of ex-Manchester United players have recently had their say about Trent Alexander-Arnold, and some of the views haven’t been complimentary.

Wayne Rooney described the Liverpool vice-captain as ‘defensively all over the place’, while Roy Keane believes that the 25-year-old would be ‘found out’ and ‘ripped to shreds’ if playing in midfield against Europe’s best teams.

However, speaking on BBC‘s coverage of England’s win over Serbia on Sunday night, Rio Ferdinand was far more positive about the West Derby lad’s attributes, while still referencing some limitations.

Follow Empire of the Kop on Instagram (@empireofthekop) HERE

The ex-United defender said: “It’s the quality. When you’ve got him on the ball, you get caught a couple of times and that’s part and parcel. Especially in midfield, you get a lot more touches and people are coming at you from different angles.

“Then you see stuff like this [shows clip of crossfield pass]. There aren’t many who can change it from being a defensive position to the final third in one pass, and he has that quality.

“The only concern you have is when you play against the better teams and he’s being asked questions defensively, but I like to focus on what he’s good at. It’s getting into these areas and picking out a white shirt.”

READ MORE: What Diogo Jota did to Ronaldo in Portugal training drew crowd reaction amid chaotic scenes

READ MORE: 8/10 duels won: Monstrous Liverpool player was absolutely dominant in Euros clash

After Rooney and Keane uttered such withering verdicts of Trent, it’s refreshing to hear Ferdinand talk up the 25-year-old’s undoubted qualities.

The microscope would inevitably be on the Liverpool man last night as a starter in midfield, and while he was the first England player to be substituted midway through the second half, he can take encouragement from his performance against Serbia.

He was actually the only man in Gareth Southgate’s side to record more than one shot during a turgid display from the Three Lions, and his world-class distribution is reflected in him hitting four accurate long passes out of six attempted.

There was the occasional lapse such as the one which gifted a chance to Aleksandar Mitrovic in the first half, but on a whole he outperformed a few teammates who were a shadow of their best selves.

Questions will inevitably continue to be asked of Trent as Euro 2024 progresses, especially if he keeps his midfield berth and England come up against some of the tournament favourites such as France and Portugal.

However, he certainly did enough last night to warrant the favourable assessment from Ferdinand and prove a point to naysayers such as Rooney and Keane.

EOTK Close-up with John Welsh: ‘a local lad who lived his dream’ and Slot’s LFC predictions

More Stories England Rio Ferdinand Trent Alexander-Arnold