Crouch insists Liverpool star TAA is ‘very good’ at defending
Posted On April 5, 2021
Former Liverpool striker Peter Crouch insists that Trent Alexander-Arnold is “a very good defender” despite criticism suggesting the contrary.
Alexander-Arnold was left out of the most recent England squad with Gareth Southgate citing the the Reds defender’s drop in form.
Reece James, Kieran Trippier and Kyle Walker were all preferred over the 22-year-old but he responded in perfect style in Liverpool’s 3-0 victory over Arsenal on Saturday evening.
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Alexander-Arnold helped Liverpool keep a clean sheet, while he produced an inch-perfect cross for Diogo Jota to open the scoring with a header.
Some have suggested that it’s the defensive part of his game that the right-back needs to improve to get back in the England squad.
And when asked about Alexander-Arnold’s chances of making the England squad for the Euros, Crouch told a Daily Mail Q&A: “I called this a long time ago.
“The moment Gareth Southgate called Reece James up in November, even though he was suspended for two of England’s three games, I thought to myself that Trent had problems. The first sign of a problem with his form, out went Trent.
“Has this been Trent’s best year? No. I’d be lying if I attempted to say it has been. But I can’t get my head around why so many people have jumped on a bandwagon to make out he’s a right back who gets skinned every time he sets foot on the pitch. He doesn’t – he’s absolutely top drawer.
“He’s a very good defender but his strength is going forward. And I don’t see how England can go to the tournament without that.
“Did you see the ball he put in for Diogo Jota’s first goal at Arsenal? His delivery and range of passing is Kevin De Bruyne-esque at times.
“Put it this way: if I’m Harry Kane and it’s the first match of the tournament, I know which right back I want firing in crosses to me. Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker and James are all quality but Trent supplies balls that are a centre forward’s dream. Surely he has to go?”
Crouch holds the record for the most Premier League appearances made as a substitute with James Milner closing in on his total – but the former Stoke striker wants to see the Liverpool midfielder “back on the bench”.
Crouch added: “To be honest I’m praying for him to get back on the bench! Being known as the man who was brought on so many times is not exactly a record that I want to shout from the rooftops.
“There have been times when, to be blunt, I’ve been a bit embarrassed by it.
“Saying that, it was put into context by one of my mates. He said to me to stop complaining as he would give his left arm to make just one Premier League substitute appearance for just one minute. I’ve got 160 of them – it’s not all bad, really.
“It shows durability and I have to take my hat off to Milner. I played with Gareth Barry, who has the all-time record for Premier League appearances, and they are similar characters.
“They don’t always get appreciated but, my goodness, they are fantastic professionals and dressing rooms know their quality.
“I remember James Milner scoring as a 16-year-old for Leeds. Look at him now, aged 35. What an absolute credit to the profession.”
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