Virgil van Dijk praises Trent Alexander-Arnold's 'reaction' to criticism

3 months ago

Virgil van Dijk has praised Liverpool teammate Trent Alexander-Arnold for how he has responded to the criticism he has received in recent times.

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Liverpool have made a disappointing start to the season, and Alexander-Arnold has been blamed for that as much as anyone in the squad.

The right-back has been criticised for his defensive work and he is still used sparingly by England boss Gareth Southgate.

Against Rangers though, Alexander-Arnold was back to his best, opening the scoring with a free-kick before being one of the stand-out players for the rest of the match.

Van Dijk has praised his team-mate's response to what he feels is unfair criticism and says those within the club never doubted him.

"We know the quality he has and he showed it again today," said the Dutchman.

"But I've been in the UK now for eight, nine years and everyone here is very good to praise a player very high up to the sky and let them fall as hard as they can. That's what we, as players, have to deal with. Everyone is talking about how we should accept it.

"For him to just carry on working - not only him but other players as well - deal with it and show reaction today is what we need, all of us. To do that, I think it's important that we back him and the manager and the club and the fans.

"No matter what the outside world will say about him, we always back each other and we know that we are fighting our way back to the consistency we have always been showing over the last couple of years. We'll get there. I'm confident we'll all get there."

Whether Alexander-Arnold will go to the World Cup is unclear, but Van Dijk has called on him to just focus on his performances.

"He has been showing it over the last couple of years; he has developed as one of the best right-backs in the country," he added.

"In the end, if he doesn't make the squad, that's on Southgate. He makes the decisions and everyone has to respect his decisions. The only thing he can do is perform."

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