Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold is one of the most prolific players in the world. There are not many players in his position that can do what he does as an attacker. However, there has been so much criticism thrown Alexander-Arnold way due to him getting caught out in defense in moments, and fans not thinking that he is good enough defensively to play right back.
Liverpool has done just fine, winning Champions League and Premier League trophies with Alexander-Arnold at right back, but right now is as good a time as ever for Liverpool to switch Alexander-Arnold to midfield.
The System Calls For It
The Reds use Trent Alexander-Arnold so high up as an attacker, that the center backs have so much area to cover. For example, Ibrahima Konaté had to cover so much ground between the attacking areas in the Champions League final against Real Madrid. Konaté did a phenomenal job for most of that match, but it was almost an inevitability that Vinicius Jr would exploit that much space on the left side and get a goal, which is exactly what happened.
Alexander-Arnold is too good of a player to sit when you need more defense, which is why throwing him into the midfield, could change the way Liverpool set up defensively while adding so much more to their attack. The only question is Calvin Ramsey, or somebody else is ready to step into that starting right-back role in replace of Alexander-Arnold.
Trent Alexander-Arnold Needs Freedom To Attack
One of the reasons why Trent Alexander-Arnold reinvented the idea of a right-back is the way that he attacks. Alexander-Arnold is without question the best attacking right back in the league and likely the world. However, he still isn’t as free to attack as he could be in midfield. Far too much is made about Trent’s lack of defense, as he is a very good defender, but if he was able to play as freely as a number eight is, it’s a guarantee he would be a much more dangerous goal scorer.
Alexander-Arnold is also one of the best crossers in the league, consistently leading the Premier League in assists each season or at least close to it. If he can provide those crossing services and passes while there is still someone to solidify the back line, the team as a whole could worry less about being exploited on the counterattack.
Where does Liverpool rank among the teams at the top of the table?
Currently, Liverpool is dealing with several injuries with Thiago missing six to eight weeks, Curtis Jones dealing with an injury from the community shield and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be out multiple months as well. Naby Keita could fill that role if he is back from illness, but with the number of bodies out for the Reds, Liverpool could use all the depth they can get. Adding someone like Trent Alexander-Arnold to that number eight role could do wonders for this side.
Liverpool can hope that there are no more injuries to their midfield and the likes of Harvey Elliott and Fabio Carvalho can add a spark to the midfield, but moving Alexander-Arnold could be the long-term starting solution and would likely experience fewer early errors. In a league now with Manchester City, every point is valuable and it is a risk to experiment with that, but the reward could be championships.