Football News

Alexander Arnold ‘already as good as Beckham’ at crossing, says former Liverpool midfielder Murphy

By Harry Edwards

Published: 17:29, 13 August 2019

Former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy has hailed right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold as being England’s best crosser since David Beckham.

Alexander-Arnold, 20, has made a name for himself over the past year-and-a-half as an extremely talented attacking full-back.

How good is Alexander-Arnold? Five things to know…

  • Alexander-Arnold has risen to prominence as Liverpool’s first-choice right-back.
  • The 20-year-old recorded 12 Premier League assists last season.
  • His performances have also seen Alexander-Arnold fight his way into the England squad.
  • Murphy believes England have some of the best right-backs in Europe.
  • And the former Liverpool man reckons Alexander-Arnold’s crossing is as good as Beckham’s.

The Englishman recorded 12 assists in the Premier League last season, with only Eden Hazard (15) and Ryan Fraser (14) managing more. Alexander-Arnold also started the new season with an assist in Liverpool’s 4-1 win over Norwich City.

And Murphy believes Alexander-Arnold technical ability at full-back is unrivalled among his compatriots.

“Gareth Southgate’s got a massive headache but a good one – I think England have three of the best right-backs in Europe,” he told talkSPORT.

“We’re spoilt. We’ve got three wonderful right-backs – Kyle Walker, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Aaron Wan-Bissaka – there’s so much quality.

“Trent’s display of passing and technical ability that we’ve not seen in a full-back for many, many years.

“Trent, for me, is as good a crosser of the ball I’ve seen since David Beckham.

“His crossing is already as good as Beckham, definitely. His set plays and crossing are both phenomenal.

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“His technical ability, his passing ability is very unusual for a full-back, normally it’s a midfielder who posses those types of quality.

“Ideally, you want to see him as a wing-back. He gets caught out in defence sometimes, but he will create and make goals in whatever position he plays.

“Trent Alexander-Arnold is 20-years-old and he’s played in the last two Champions League finals. He’s a scouser living the dream and he’s technically superb.”

Having won the Champions League with Liverpool in June 2019, Alexander-Arnold will have the chance to add a second trophy to his cabinet when the Reds take on Chelsea in the Uefa Super Cup on Tuesday.

How good is Alexander-Arnold’s crossing?

Since making his Premier League debut as a substitute in a 3-0 win over Middlesbrough in December 2016, Alexander-Arnold has played 56 times for Liverpool.

In that time, the right-back has provided 14 assists at an average of 0.29 per 90 minutes. Of those 14 assists, 10 have come from open play and the other four from set-pieces.

Alexander-Arnold has also impressed with his crossing, completing 46 of his 226 from open play since his debut. Although this number may appear low, crosses also rely on a capable striker to be on the receiving end, as well as evading defenders.

The 20-year-old has been as creative from set-pieces, too, with 29 of his 77 corners into the box being successful.