Rio Ferdinand has advised Trent Alexander-Arnold on how to step up to the next level and become the world’s best right-back.
Trent Alexander-Arnold is already in the conversation, winning a Champions League and Premier League before he turned 22 last month.
But Rio Ferdinand has spotted one area where the Liverpool right-back could potentially improve, with the legendary England and Manchester United centre-half suggesting Alexander-Arnold could do with working on his mental sharpness from a defensive point of view.
“He’s switched on. You can tell there’s a desire, there’s a bit between the teeth, he wants to be a player, he wants to be a top player. Having that time with him was really insightful,” Ferdinand told BT Sport.
“Ability-wise, you can’t question this kid – he’s got everything, his passing, going forward, the way he sees things. Defensively, it’s the only thing you could pick out.
“It’s not all about ability, it’s not physical, it’s mentally, switching on and saying during a game, he’s gonna get the balance right. If he does that, he’s the best right-back about, bar none.
“I don’t think there’s anyone that can get near him because his range of passing over different distances, it’s too much. That’s Steven Gerrard at Anfield.”
Ferdinand’s compliment is not the first time that Alexander-Arnold has been compared to Steven Gerrard due to the 22-year-old’s ability to spread the ball around the pitch at will.
While Alexander-Arnold is one of the first names on Jurgen Klopp’s teamsheet on the right side of Liverpool’s defence, there is no shortage of competition in the right-back slot for England.
Ferdinand recently spent time with Alexander-Arnold and posed the question regarding whether he felt that he could fill a midfield void for England and leave right-back to the likes of Kyle Walker, Aaron Wan-Bissaka or Reece James.
“I asked him that and he said, ‘Why would I, when I’m doing what I’m doing at right-back?’” Ferdinand said.
“It’s worth a look. Listen, I don’t think England are blessed with immovable players in that team. In centre-midfield, if they had players that you couldn’t move because they’re shoe-ins, I’d say no, but I don’t think Gareth knows his best midfield yet. So, why not try him?”