Jurgen Klopp has rubbished questions about Trent Alexander-Arnold defensive ability after the full-back created Sadio Mane’s winner in a 1-0 victory over West Ham United at Anfield on Saturday.
The England international teed up Mohamed Salah in the second minute but the Egypt international uncharacteristically wasted the opportunity with just West Ham goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski to beat.
However, Alexander-Arnold did get his assist in the 33rd minute when the England defender’s cross-cum-shot found Mane at the far post and the Liverpool FC no10 produced a clinical finish.
The 23-year-old has made 16 assists in all competitions in the current campaign to underline his continued importance to Liverpool FC’s attacking threat under Klopp.
Alexander-Arnold has created 11 goals in the Premier League this season, which is one assist more than Salah and two more than Andy Robertson.
However, the Liverpool FC full-back still faces questions about his defensive ability despite being a key member of the third-best defence in the Premier League this term.
Speaking at his post-match media conference about Alexander-Arnold’s supposed defensive weakness, Klopp replied:
“I don’t understand that [criticism of his defending], that’s true, but I don’t think I will change that with whatever I will say. But if he couldn’t defend, he would not play here – at least not that in that position.
“He improved in all departments and defending of course as well. But he is that young that he can improve and has to improve, but yes, his defending is not a problem we have.”
Klopp went on to praise Alexander-Arnold’s ability to pinpoint dangerous situations and place a ball in these areas.
“So, when you see him playing I think we help him a little bit with positioning and stuff like this,” Klopp added.
“We try to bring him into positions, formation-wise, where he can be that influential but of course it’s all about him and his skill-set and his quality and his right foot and his overview.
“That’s it, that he is really in the situation and focused to set up goals in these moments, that he knows where are the dangerous situations and positions in the opposition box or around that and really tries to bring the ball there.
“It’s very helpful if you work together for a longer time because the strikers obviously expect that as well.”
Alexander-Arnold has scored 10 times and has made 44 assists in 153 appearances in the Premier League since making his debut in October 2016.
The Liverpool FC defender has won the Premier League, the Champions League, the Carabao Cup and the Fifa Club World Cup since breaking into Klopp’s starting XI.
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Source: Sport Review