Only Kevin De Bruyne, according to Jamie Carragher, can divide defences like Trent Alexander-Arnold, and he has performed like Steven Gerrard in his new hybrid midfield position.
The 24-year-old provided two assists against Javi Gracia’s struggling team while playing in central areas for the second straight game.
A week earlier, he set up Roberto Firmino for the Reds’ dramatic comeback against Arsenal.
The Monday Night Football debate on the new position and whether his impact is long-lasting was sparked by the England international’s 153 touches at Elland Road, the second-most of any player in a Premier League game this season.
After the game, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was questioned by Carragher: “Is [Alexander-Arnold’s new role] designed] to get more out of him [offensively], or to make the team better defensively – so you have two sitting midfielders?”
“Both, because it’s Trent,” Klopp replied. “It was an exceptional pass for Darwin Nunez’s goal. There were a couple of superb passes in the first half, one for Mo [Salah], another for Hendo [Jordan Henderson]. He can do both, but we do need to be protected better because we have been conceding too many counter-attacks, lost balls in wrong moments.”
“He’s involved [in the game] all the time. When we describe teams and talk about formations, a lot of the time we describe how a team are without the ball. So when you talk about how Manchester City or Liverpool are playing right now, we should actually describe their formation as a 3-2-5, because they they have the ball more than they don’t and that’s how they settle.
“A lot of the time we talk about ‘five and five’, where you’ve got five ahead of the ball and five behind it. How you achieve that can come in different ways, but I think Trent’s position is as much about defence as it is about him getting on the ball. But, there’s always been that question: can he play in midfield? You forget, he was a midfield player before he became a full-back.”
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