It was the kind of cross that few in world football could have hoped for, certainly no player whose status had clearly fallen to becoming England’s fourth best right-back.
There was still Trent Alexander-Arnold, who shook the astonishing delivery from the right to Diogo ota’s head on his way to Arsenal for a big win in the Premier League.
Alexander-Arnold turned, clenched his fists, and – with a fierce glance – pulled out a gut. It was a relief that England coach Gareth Southgate probably did not lose.
Or Real Madrid.
After a difficult season, “Liverpool” plays in the quarterfinals of the Champions League with some of its main players in the game with Madrid. Among them is a player who, in a sense, redefined the role of right defender.
Alexander-Arnold has been by far the most creative player on the team that conquered Europe ապես, finally, 30 years later, the English game over the last few years.
His long-range passes, his shots և obviously his assists have undoubtedly made him the world’s right-back since 2018, even if his defense has been the subject of criticism.
This season, however, his level has dropped. After infecting the coronavirus, he missed part of the condensed vestibule and then received malignant injuries. Playing in Liverpool’s patched defense, missing injured central defenders Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and then El Matip struggled to help Alexander-Arnold in the middle of the season as the Champions League title was clearly defended.
One game stood out in particular. 1 worn by “Southampton” on January 4. The 0-0 defeat, when Alexander-Arnold sent the ball 38 times to a high level for the season championship, before being replaced in the 77th minute.
The last few months have been more like Alexander-Arnold of recent seasons, however, even if it was not enough to convince Southgate to choose him to his last team in England. Before Southgate, the latter must choose his group of 23 people. for this summer’s European Championship.
This forced Liverpool head coach Jurgen Klopp to deviate.
“I do not criticize Gareth Southgate, I do not want to argue. “I respect his role and his decisions,” Klopp said. “But I know the player better than any other coach, I can say he is a world-class player, not just offensive.”
According to Southgate, Kieran Tripper, Kyle Walker and Reese James Ames are in better shape than Alexander-Arnold. It should not matter to Klopp.
“If you compare Lionel Messi every year with his best season, he is not playing like he did in 2005-2006,” said Klopp. “But he is still the best player in the world.”
Fortunately for Liverpool, while Messi is 33 years old, Alexander-Arnold is 22 years old. The best years of his career, in theory, are ahead of him.
Indeed, the loss of England could be a gain for Liverpool in the short term. Alexander-Arnold managed to get rid of the tension of the competition for a few weeks, trained hard with “Liverpool” and recharged his batteries on the eve of the season, which will see the “reds” to win the Champions League Cup for the second time. three years եք back to the top four in the Premier League.
Liverpool’s right-hand side are well-equipped to cause Madrid problems in the first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday, with winger Mohamed Salah scoring 3-0 for Arsenal.
Madrid coach ined inedin id idan will have to choose between Marcelo and Ferland Mendy left-back. In particular, Mendi has struggled defensively in the 3-5-2 squad, which Idan sometimes uses when going from the traditional 4-3-3. Madrid also do not have a stable central defender Sergio Ramos.
So expect the balls to fly into the area from the equipped Alexander-Arnold, probably since the best goalkeeper in English football, David Beckham.
Alexander-Arnold plays to score as he looks for a way back to England for the Euro. And it can only benefit Liverpool from ending a difficult season with a high title in the seventh European Cup.
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AP sports writer Tales Azzoni contributed to this story in Madrid.
Steve Douglas is https://twitter.com/sdouglas80