Gary Neville has singled out Trent Alexander-Arnold for special praise after the Liverpool defender scored a stunning equaliser in the 1-1 draw against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium, admitting that the 24-year-old could become the 'greatest right-back of all time' if he continues in this trajectory.
The Reds looked destined to lose their second Premier League game of the season after Erling Haaland put the hosts ahead in the first half, but Alexander-Arnold stepped up when it mattered most to score a fantastic goal from the edge of the area in the 80th minute as the spoils were shared in Manchester.
Speaking after the game in the Gary Neville podcast, the Manchester United legend - who is widely regarded as one of the greatest right-backs in the league's history, lavished praise on the 24-year-old, admitting that he only needs to be 'competent' defensively to go down as an all-time great.
He said (quotes via Liverpool Echo): “Manchester City had a player injured today in Kevin De Bruyne who is world-class in terms of delivery, striking of a ball and his passing. Trent Alexander-Arnold is his equal, and he’s a right-back.
“All he has to be as a defender is sort of semi-competent, he doesn’t have to be the best right-back in the world defensively. You don’t expect him to be [Cesar] Azpilicueta, who was the opposite, in terms of being a defensive right-back, Ivanovic or a Kyle Walker. He doesn’t have to be that. What he does have to be is not a liability and there have been times in the last three or four years where that has been a standout feature of Liverpool’s big games, where he’s been too easy to beat and too easy to get at.”
Neville continued to sing Alexander-Arnold's praises, adding that the 24-year-old is notching up attacking returns a handful of top-flight Premier League attackers fail to do so over the course of a season.
He continued: “His performances on the ball are absolutely out of this world. The difference between me and him is night and day. I can’t even relate to what he’s doing on the pitch. He’s playing in central midfield for 50-60% of it, going forward scoring goals, setting up goals, and assists. He’s achieving numbers that right-wingers don’t achieve.
“He’s got the material to be the very best right-back of all time. But he’s going to have to be a little bit more serious about his defending because he is currently struggling to get into the England team - or he has struggled. He will need to - when Liverpool and England are under the cosh - be able to be a resilient, tough defensive player as well.
“That’s something I think he can add to his game. I don’t give up on the fact that he can be a very good defender. I think defending is not that difficult to learn compared to the bit of his game that he has got.”
Neville has often been critical of Alexander-Arnold defensive frailties, so for him to change his stance and admit he could become the greatest right-back of all time is a startling example of the 24-year-old's outrageous talent.