Trent Alexander-Arnold is England’s best right-back and Liverpool defender must start for the Three Lions at Euro 2020 in order to ‘unlock’ defensive teams.
That’s the verdict of Danny Murphy, who believes the young Reds’ offensive qualities are too good for Gareth Southgate to ignore at the European Championship.
Alexander-Arnold, who had endured a nightmarish night in the Champions League loss to Real Madrid last week, once again made headlines with a fearsome strike to seal a 2-1 victory for Liverpool to death on Saturday.
The 22-year-old responded to his criticism flawlessly and demonstrated to Southgate that his attacking threat may be too hard to ignore.
And despite the Liverpool defender perhaps not offering the most defensively, Murphy believes his ability to unlock defenses could prove crucial for Southgate at the European Championship.
“His passing range is like a midfielder,” he told talkSPORT. “His crossing is phenomenal, Beckham-esque. He can score free kicks and shake things up in games when you’re faced with it.
“The majority of matches in England, they dominate the ball and they find themselves facing opponents who retreat.
“If you want someone who can create, in the future there is no one better.
“There are better defensive right-backs right now, but you can’t have them all.
“I personally play Trent – it’s my first choice. But if you wanna go more defensive – I know Gareth [Southgate] likes to have a nice base to build on – Kyle Walker is probably the best at individual defense.
“He can play as a third center-half thanks to his formidable athleticism.”
Murphy insisted that Alexander-Arnold had to start clashes as his creative prowess could allow opponents to prepare defensively against the Three Lions.
“When I look at winning football matches and how we’re going to win a tournament, England have too often failed to break up teams.
“You look at Iceland for example, we often have trouble opening teams. Trent is one of the best we have at opening teams.
Kane said to leave, Lingard linked with Real Madrid, Maddison ‘ends England chances’
Mourinho did not receive ‘support and tools to succeed’ at Spurs, talkSPORT said
it’s time to go
Harry Kane said he would win nothing at Spurs and the club could ‘forget about UCL’
Spurs star Son defended as talkSPORT said ‘even referees tell players to get off’
EFL confirms play-off dates with games slated for fans’ return
Howe and Dyche backed as new Crystal Palace boss, Hodgson switched for boardroom role
Man United said to keep Cavani for another year as an alternative to Kane and Haaland
Tottenham said to sell Harry Kane to fund full rebuild after ‘pathetic’ display
Jurgen Klopp insisted Alexander-Arnold had nothing to prove to England after the full-back capped a hectic week with an overtime winner against Villa.
“Life is like that, football is like that. He played a high level game against Arsenal and today. Real Madrid, we don’t have to hide that, the second goal, of course (he was at fault), ”Klopp said.
“He just has to play football. Nothing to do with the national team, just to develop. That’s what he does.
“I don’t think Trent is in a situation where he has to prove himself at this level. He has to challenge himself, but not because of the national team, but because as a young player he has to question himself.
“To be in the England squad you have to play football of exceptional quality. Trent did this very often from a young age.
“It’s not like he’s not playing well. Don’t talk about it, talk about the game but leave the rest aside.