Van Dijk says Alexander-Arnold responded to criticism in ‘right way’


Virgil van Dijk says he has no doubts about Trent Alexander-Arnold’s quality and has suggested player welfare is being forgotten about amid recent criticism.
The Liverpool full-back came under heavy criticism for his defensive performance in the 3-3 draw with Brighton on Saturday and his place in the England squad for next month’s World Cup in Qatar has been called into question.
Van Dijk claims his team-mate is a victim of a culture in the UK that builds players up before bringing them down.
Speaking after Liverpool’s 2-0 victory over Rangers in the Champions League on Tuesday night – in which Alexander-Arnold scored a stunning free-kick to open the scoring – the Dutchman said: “We know the quality he has and he showed it again today.
“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.