Former Chelsea defender reveals death threats from Liverpool fans

Photo: Reuters

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Former Chelsea defender Frank Leboeuf has revealed he received death threats following his criticism of Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold.

The Frenchman, who played as a defender for Chelsea had claimed Alexander-Arnold wasn’t fit to play in the Premiership, because he’s a ‘Championship level defender’.

However, Leboeuf has now insisted his comments were taken out of context. Speaking to Fair Betting Sites, he said: “I want to go back to why I supposedly said that. First I said worse, I said ‘not even Championship level’. But it’s not what I actually said.

“I’m very upset with the English media who took half of what I said and ran with it. I said ‘Trent Alexander-Arnold I love the guy’. I love his spirit, his mentality and what he brings offensively. Because it’s only fair that if you criticise him defensively that you compliment his attack threat.

“Previously as a fullback your priority was to defend well but that is not the case in 2022. We started to see that with the like of Roberto Carlos, Marcelo and Cafu.

“But the headline that TAA is a Championship level player is wrong, I never said that and would never be disrespectful to him like that,” he said.

Man United legend, Rio Ferdinand had reacted to Leboeuf’s comments back in September, and suggested the former Chelsea man had no right to criticise Alexander-Arnold because he too wasn’t exactly the best during his playing days, and the 54-year-old also had some words for him.

But Leboeuef continued: “Fair enough, Rio Ferdinand said I wasn’t a good defender, that’s his opinion and it’s not totally untrue. I wasn’t the best defender in the world but I had more knowledge about defending than TAA has because TAA has nothing.

“He knows nothing about defending because it’s not the idea of his position – which is crazy. I think Klopp has to help TAA out. Put Gomez behind him or Milner behind him but don’t ask him to defend because he doesn’t know how to do it. It’s not part of his computer.

“TAA’s computer says ‘no i’m not interested in defending’. He doesn’t even know what to do but what he can do is provide fantastic crosses or long range passes to the front line and because that’s where his real quality lies.

“These comments I made about TAA being taken out of context have seen me labeled as a racist and I’ve also received death threats over social media and I hate that. It’s totally unjustified because it was not a personal attack on TAA.

“Yes, I criticised his defensive ability but as part of my analysis I also praised him highly.

“Even Rio Ferdinand would probably agree, but if he tried to tell me that Trent Alexander-Arnold is a great defender I’d really want to talk to him about that.

“But you have to look at the whole picture. In modern football a player in that position is, what do you need more from him? His passes or his defending?

“If Klopp is playing him there in the right side as a fullback who needs to defend then all the teams Liverpool play against will target him, that’s obvious.”