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Emile Heskey Backs Trent Alexander-Arnold To Bounce Back From Recent Slump In Form

Emile Heskey Backs Trent Alexander-Arnold To Bounce Back From Recent Slump In Form
By Luke Delaney Updated
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After some below par defensive performances since the start of the season, Trent Alexander-Arnold has faced plenty of criticism. There's no doubting the scousers' ability in the attacking end, but he certainly has work to do in the defensive third.

With the World Cup just around the corner and Trent Alexander-Arnold being left out of England's last matchday squad, questions have been raised whether Gareth Southgate will even take the 24-year-old to Qatar.

At the weekend, the Liverpool full-back was at fault for at least one of Arsenal's goals, leading to more criticism of his defensive attributes.

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Heskey on Trent Alexander-Arnold's defensive woes

Former Liverpool and England striker Emile Heskey has given his opinion on Alexander-Arnold's recent form. Emile Heskey exclusively told Ladbrokes: Fanzone that he doesn't think that Trent's defensive attributes have changed this season.

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Heskey said:

Trent (Alexander-Arnold) is in my team every day of the week. Look, we've never really analysed the defensive part of his game until now; we've always spoken about the threat he poses going forward. I actually think he's doing the same defensively for the club as he was doing when he first made it into the first-team. Everyone is pinpointing it at the moment because we've spent so long looking at all of his positives. I don't think he's got any worse, but I don't think he's improved that aspect of his game over the last few seasons.

Heskey, who played for the Reds for four years, also said that having a more senior player operating beside Trent Alexander-Arnold is better for his performances.

I still think he's got a lot to offer, though. He's a fantastic player, but he'll definitely have to work on certain parts of his game. I find with Trent that if you put a more senior player next to him, you'll get the best out of him. If he's playing next to Joe Gomez, you've got two lads who aren't great talkers.

Neither are great leaders, and that's when he can be found wanting. But if he's playing alongside a senior player, they'll pull you in, dictate to you where you should and shouldn't be going and help you through the game. Having Andy Robertson out on the left-hand side has historically helped Trent because it's allowed him to tuck in a little bit more, whereas he's not had that luxury recently.

Liverpool are currently sitting in 10th place in the table, winning just two of their opening games. A start to the season that would have been hard to believe just a couple of months ago due to their emphatic form over the past few years.

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Liverpool's poor start to the season has certainly been well covered in the media, with pundits and fans blasting Trent Alexander-Arnold and his teammates.

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Heskey on being criticised during his playing days

One player who has taken his fair share of criticism is Emile Heskey and he offered some advice to the England international.

I've dealt with my fair share of criticism over the years, from pundits, fans and the media. Trent is lucky to be at a club like Liverpool where - as I experienced - there are plenty of staff members around the place to help you, because it's not easy. Let's not forget, up until very recently people were saying he was one of the best to ever play in that position, and he's still so young, and now all of a sudden he's been the subject of so much criticism; it's not easy to deal with.
He's got ex-players telling him he's a League One defender; the fascinating thing about this game is that everyone has got an opinion, but very few people give an answer or a solution. He needs more positives; things he can take forward.
Here's how I dealt with that criticism: if I was that bad, the manager wouldn't keep picking me. I knew - as does Trent - that there were plenty of players behind me in the pecking order ready to come in and replace me, but the manager kept picking me, and that's a reassuring thought worth remembering. He's the best in that team in that position.
Trent Alexander-Arnold did have to be substituted at half-time during his side's defeat to Arsenal, and with the impressive Manchester City and Erling Haaland coming to Anfield this Sunday, it's unknown whether Alexander-Arnold will be available to play.

SEE ALSO: Arsenal's First Goal Against Liverpool Not Checked Due To VAR Blind Spot

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