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Rio Ferdinand says Liverpool have a new Steven Gerrard – although not in central midfield.
Ferdinand was comparing right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold to the legendary Reds midfielder over his range of passing.
And the defender then proved Rio's point with a beautiful through-ball to set up Diogo Jota's opener in Liverpool's Champions League clash with Atalanta on Tuesday night.
Before the game, BT Sport pundit Ferdinand had been signing Alexander-Arnold's praises – and suggested the right-back's creativity could be a boost to England's midfield.
The ex-Manchester United defender said Alexander-Arnold has got "everything" as an attacking threat – and said the only weakness in his game is staying focused on when to defend.
"He's a top player," Ferdinand said. "Ability wise you can't question this kid. He's got everything – his passing, going forward, the way he sees things.
"Defensively you could say there's a slight on his game.
"More than anything, it's not ability, it's not physical, it's mentally. Switching on and saying I'm going to get the balance in my game 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, his range of passing over different distances."
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Shown a clip of an Alexander-Arnold pass, Ferdinand said: "Look at that, that's too much – that's Steven Gerrard at Anfield."
Ferdinand then discussed the prospect of Alexander-Arnold moving into midfield for Liverpool, and replied: "I asked him that. He said 'why would I if I'm doing what I'm doing at right-back?"
Asked by host Gary Lineker whether Alexander-Arnold could play in the engine room for Gareth Southgate's Three Lions, he said: "It's worth a look because I don't think England are blessed with players who are immovable in that team in centre-midfield.
"If we had shoo-ins I would say no but I don't think Gareth knows his best midfield yet so try him."
Jota – who has now scored in four consecutive games for Liverpool – went on to score a hat-trick against Atalanta, with Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane also on target.
- Champions League
- Gareth Southgate
- Gary Lineker
- Mohamed Salah
- Rio Ferdinand
- Steven Gerrard
- Liverpool FC
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