Jamie Carragher has said that Liverpool have ‘got to’ sign a right-back this summer to provide competition and ‘help’ for Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Alexander-Arnold’s performances have been criticised this season and the Liverpool defender endured a torrid time across two legs as the Reds exited the Champions League to Real Madrid.
The 24-year-old has been an integral figure in the success of Jurgen Klopp’s side in recent seasons, but reservations remain about the defensive side of his game and Alexander-Arnold has been exposed on several occasions this season.
Carragher believes the time has now come for Liverpool to take action and says another right-back must be signed in the summer, with Alexander-Arnold in need of competition and help in the position.
“It’s very, very worrying,” Carragher told CBS Sports. “Not just for Liverpool as a team, but for him. And what I mean by that is, this can’t continue, what’s happened this season and the amount of times he’s been lacking defensively.
“The problem they’ve got in that position is, they’ve never had real competition for Trent Alexander-Arnold. And one of the reasons for that is because he’s been so good. You’re then thinking ’Who do you buy?’. How much do you spend for someone who’s not really going to play every week?
“I think Liverpool are at the point now where they have got to go buy a right-back. It’s Jurgen Klopp’s decision how good that right-back is, how much he costs, but that lad needs serious competition. He’s been playing now at the top level every season, week in week out with no rest.
“He’s won everything, he’s been fantastic and he’s done everything I could ever dream of. I’m so proud of him, a local lad coming through the ranks. But he needs help. At the end of this season, he needs to have a long think about where he is as a right-back.“
Carragher believes Alexander-Arnold’s flaws have been exposed following a drop-off in performances from Klopp’s side this season and believes the England international will continue to struggle with defensive responsibility if Liverpool are not ‘one of the best teams in Europe’.
“I’ve always defended him because he plays for one of the best teams in the world. So you do a lot more attacking than you do defending. We all know his defending is not good enough. And I don’t think it’ll ever be good enough.
“We’re talking about a player who has played 260 games – it’s not going to massively improve.
“When Liverpool drop off and aren’t one of the best teams in Europe, then you’re doing more defending and less attacking. We’re seeing the worst traits of Trent and not his strengths going forward. And that is a massive problem.
“I thought this problem would rear its head when Klopp left, and Liverpool went back to how they played when I was a player, where most seasons we were trying to qualify for top four. But if Liverpool are trying to qualify for the Champions League on a yearly basis, I am not sure Trent is your man at right back.
“If Liverpool go back to being one of the best teams in Europe, which they will try to do next season, he is your man. But right now the lad needs help.”