Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp disagrees with Gary Neville view on Trent Alexander-Arnold

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Jurgen Klopp has dismissed Gary Neville’s claim that Trent Alexander-Arnold passed a test of character with his strong performance in Liverpool’s 3-0 win over Arsenal on Saturday evening. The 22-year-old returned to his usual self with a decent showing against the Gunners in his side’s first Premier League outing since the international break.

Alexander-Arnold provided the assist for Diogo Jota’s second-half opener with a delightful cross before performing what appeared to be an emotionally-charged celebration after a difficult two weeks.

He was controversially left out of the England squad for last month’s World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Poland, with Reece James, Kyle Walker and Kieran Tripper preferred by Gareth Southgate to cover the right-back berth.

The Liverpool defender’s omission led many onlookers to speculate over the likelihood of his participation in Euro 2020 this summer, despite being widely regarded as one of the best attacking full-backs in world football.

Neville suggested on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football that Alexander-Arnold successfully proved himself by passing a test of character with his performance at the Emirates Stadium.

However, when quizzed on the former Manchester United defender’s comments, Klopp stressed that his player is under no extra pressure to perform, claiming that he is simply trying to stay on top of his game.

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“I don’t understand life or education like this, for me it’s different,” Klopp told a press conference on Monday.

“You can do it by showing trust and faith in somebody and then he can succeed or you can leave him out and then he shows a reaction.

“For us it was not a character test or whatever. What we did was not two weeks working on how we can show Gareth Southgate he was not right.

“But what we wanted to do was try and play his best football, what he did quite a few times for us in the past.

“We didn’t see it as a test, we just thought it was an important game so let’s prepare for it.”

Alexander-Arnold is expected to feature for Liverpool in Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final first-leg clash with Real Madrid at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano.

Klopp had previously slammed Southgate’s decision to leave the young defender at home for last month’s fixtures, highlighting the fact that even Barcelona great Lionel Messi can sometimes be prone to an underwhelming spell of form.

“If Trent Alexander-Arnold is not in the squad of England, then England must have an extremely good squad, let me say it like this,” said the German boss last week.

“I have no problem if my players get some criticism. They can get it from me, they can get it from other people.

“I respect that Gareth makes his own decisions, of course, but I didn’t understand it anyway because Trent Alexander-Arnold was in the last two seasons at least, let me say the season before and the season before that, the stand out right-back in world football.

“That is the truth and at an unbelievable young age. I have no problem if my players get some criticism. They can get it from me, they can get it from other people, but that is the truth.

“He was the stand out right back in world football. I am a manager myself. I make decisions every day, every weekend, we always make decisions that other people probably do not understand.

“I respect that Gareth makes his own decisions, of course, but I didn’t understand it.”

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