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Souness on Alexander-Arnold's Defensive Challenges Amidst Offensive Brilliance.



In his recent Daily Mail column, football pundit Graham Souness showered accolades on Trent Alexander-Arnold, hailing him as the premier ball striker in English football. Drawing comparisons with legends Steven Gerrard and David Beckham, Souness commended Trent's unerring accuracy and short passing prowess.

"The last few weeks have confirmed what we have known for a long time: that in Trent Alexander-Arnold, Liverpool have the best striker of a ball within these shores," Souness said.


"I see in Trent the quality that Steven Gerrard always had when it came to the delivery of the ball. An ability which is also up there with what David Beckham had. Trent is on another level in today’s game — not just with that unerring accuracy when delivering from distance, but with his short passing, which is excellent.

"When you are up against a level of ability like that, sides will be worried and alarm bells will ring for managers. Steven had such a metronomic ability to deliver any ball he collected deep within his own defence. When he went deep to get the ball from his back-four, my instructions were for my own back-four to drop, as it was not a simple pass he was going to attempt. Also, when Steven was within shooting distance, you had to get in as quickly as possible to stop him getting a shot off. Like Steven, Trent can strike the ball any way he chooses — from a fade, to a draw, to sheer power."



However, amidst the praise, concerns surfaced about Trent's defensive capabilities, especially in the context of a potential midfield role. Souness emphasised: "His defensive skills are not at that same level. Even at right back — a position from which you can often see every other player on the pitch, except your goalkeeper, and have more time to sense danger — he is not always able to anticipate the threat and respond to it in time.


"Against the weaker teams, when Liverpool are dominating the ball, that new midfield role will be perfect for Trent. But against the better teams, I feel there may be a problem for him and his team.



"In that central part of the pitch, everything is happening faster than anywhere else and your thought processes need to be that much quicker. If you’re not calculating what will happen at full back, where there is more time, then you will certainly find it difficult to do so in the centre — against the stronger sides, at least."


Despite defensive reservations, Souness acknowledged Trent's immense value to Liverpool's attacking strategies, leaving fans intrigued about the evolving dynamics of his role.

"As a manager, you would always want such a rare talent as Trent’s in the final third for you — shooting, picking a pass, delivering the ball with an ability surpassing anyone else in the Premier League," he said.


"Liverpool saw that from the very start, because Trent was a midfielder before he became a full back. It was from midfield that he scored two goals for Liverpool’s Under 18s, while still a 16-year-old, against Manchester United at Carrington back in 2015.


"There must have been a reason why he was moved to the role at full back. Perhaps it was a way of getting him into the starting XI. But it is further up the field that be brings such danger — just like Steven, who started out as a right back but then found his natural position."


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