Manchester United Legend Rio Ferdinand has slammed former Chelsea and French defender Frank Leboeuf over his claims that Trent Alexander Arnold’s defensive ability is not at a Premier League level.
In an interview with Le Journal du Dimanche, Frank Leboeuf said: “Look at Trent Alexander-Arnold. I love the guy, his offensive qualities. But defensively, he’s Championship level.
“Only Jurgen Klopp’s system works for him. When it doesn’t work as well as it has this season, all you see is his defensive shortcomings.
“I want to take him with me to work on the basics. I would say to him: ‘Turn your head and look behind you, it will be better already’. It was Roberto Carlos who deformed generations of defenders.”
The Liverpool right-back was left out of England matchday squad to face Germany in their last Nations League clash. Gareth Southgate opted for Reece James and Kieran Trippier.
However, Frank Leboeuf’s comments on Trent Alexander Arnold did not go well with Rio Ferdinand, who claims the former Chelsea defender’s comments were disrespectful.
What did Rio Ferdinand say?
The Manchester United icon said on his YouTube channel Vibe with Five: “Even Leboeuf had the cheek to say he is a Championship defender.
“Are you winding me up? It’s disrespectful, some people get too disrespectful. Leboeuf defensively wasn’t the best, by the way, so he’s got a cheek.
“When you look at Leboeuf you go ‘Unbelievable on the ball, defensively he’s alright, gives you a chance. I was in team talks against him and our gaffer would go ‘He’s unbelievable on the ball, prepare for this, you had to do a team talk on Lebouef, he was that good, ridiculous. But you would go ‘You get around him because he will give you a chance’.
“If he was good enough defensively, you wouldn’t talk about his defensive frailties. He’s saying ‘He’s a weakness defensively, get yourself right round him’.”
Meanwhile, Gareth Southgate has revealed why he left Trent Alexander Arnold from the England Squad to face Germany.
The England manager said on Channel 4: “I mean, we’ve got a big squad with us and we’ve got four right-backs who are super quality.
“At the moment, Kieran Trippier is playing exceptionally well and Reece James has been one of the outstanding players in the Premier League at the start of the season.
“But Trent is a very, very good footballer and that’s why we picked him in the [initial] squad.”
However, former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy claims Trent Alexander Arnold will not make the England World Cup squad.
Murphy explained via Talk sport: “I don’t think Trent goes. I don’t think that Southgate will pick him.
“Would I pick him? Yes! Everyone will have different choices because we are blessed with them (right-backs).
“The thing Trent gives you that none of the others can’t is he can do things from an attacking point of view that the others can’t.
“He sees passes they don’t see and he can cross the ball better than any of them. I’m not suggesting Kieran Trippier and Reece James aren’t good crossers of the ball.
“Trent is a creative player.”