Chelsea send £26m transfer message to Liverpool over Trent Alexander-Arnold problem


Liverpool could look to copy what Chelsea did in January to help fix their defensive problems. Jurgen Klopp’s side have had an underwhelming season so far and have struggled to hit the heights of previous campaigns.

The Reds were knocked out of the Champions League by Real Madrid on Wednesday evening and a player who struggled once more was Trent Alexander-Arnold . The right- back, known for his attacking quality, was run ragged by Vinicius Junior and seemed to be targeted by Los Blancos all evening. Jamie Carragher was critical of the 24-year-old’s performance after the match and told Klopp what he must do to ensure the defender improves.

“That can’t continue, what’s happened this season with him and the number of times he has been lacking defensively,” the Reds legend told CBS. Carragher continued: “The problem they have got in that position is that they’ve never had real competition for Trent Alexander-Arnold and one of the reasons why is because he has been so good and you think ‘who do you buy and how much do you spend for someone who is not really going to play every week?’

“Liverpool are at the point where they have got to go and buy a right-back. It’s Jurgen Klopp’s decision in terms of how good that right-back is and how much he costs, but that lad needs serious competition. He has been playing for five years at the top level, with no rest, and has won absolutely everything and won more than I could ever dream of. I’m so proud of him – a local lad coming through the ranks – but he needs help.”

Chelsea have had similar problems with Reece James over the past 18 months, although it it James’ injury record which has caused the Blues problems and not necessarily the 23- year-old’s lack of defending. The England international missed large chunks of last season through injury, while his availability this season has been equally as frustrating for Graham Potter.

With Cesar Azpilicueta not the player he once was, Chelsea do not have a like-for-like replacement for James when he is unavailable. With James Milner filling in for Alexander-Arnold when needed, Liverpool have something of a similar problem. However, Todd Boehly addressed this issue for Chelsea in the January transfer window by signing Lyon right-back Malo Gusto.

The 19-year-old, who is a similar type of player to James, moved to Stamford Bridge for £26million but was loaned back to Lyon until the end of the season. Although he is currently nursing an injury at Chelsea’s Cobham training ground, the defender will likely travel back to France next month before finishing the season with Laurent Blanc’s team. Gusto will then report for pre-season training with Chelsea in the summer and act as James’ deputy, adding much-needed quality in that area of the pitch.

It remains to be seen if Liverpool will go out and buy a right- back in the summer transfer window to act as serious competition for Alexander-Arnold. But judging by Carragher’s latest comments, Klopp and his recruitment team need to take a leaf out of Chelsea’s book and do just that.

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