Trent Alexander-Arnold, the new Liverpool sensation

Liverpool born and bred, Trent Alexander-Arnold made his senior debut in 2016, aged 18 and was also the club’s Young Player of the Season in successive years, 2017 and 2018. In the latter year, Alexander-Arnold achieved another milestone of becoming Liverpool’s youngest player to feature in a UEFA Champions League final.

After winning the tournament in 2019, he earned his first PFA Young Player of the Year and also superb Ballon d’Or nominations. He also won the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup very recently and the teenager has already crossed the 100 appearances mark for the club.

However, it all started with the player born in West Derby, Liverpool and got into football when the club hosted a half-term camp to which several talented kids from his school were invited. Alexander-Arnold was spotted by the Liverpool academy coach Ian Barrigan who then approached Arnold’s parents to offer him the chance to become a member of the club’s academy.

Alexander-Arnold trained twice or sometimes thrice in a week, every day at a different position. He then excelled and went on to captain the U16 and U18 club team. During this academy time, Alexander-Arnold converted himself from a winger to right-back as it was comparatively easy and his clearest path to get into the first team.

Former Liverpool captain and legend, Steven Gerrard, also claimed that Trent will have a bright future in his autobiography. Alexander-Arnold was first picked in the first-team squad by the current Leicester City and ex-Liverpool boss, Brendan Rodgers. He represented the club in a final pre-season match against Swindon Town where he marked his unofficial debut for the club.

Alexander-Arnold was given his official debut for Liverpool on October 25, 2016, where he was a part of a fabulous 2-1 victory over Spurs in the fourth round of the EFL Cup.  He was then awarded a new long-term contract with the club and was given a start in yet another EFL Cup clash against Leeds United. 

Arnold was not only the Man of the Match but he also set up a goal for the first time for Divock Origi in a 2-0 win. Alexander-Arnold was trusted with his first league start being a tough one against Manchester United on 15 January 2017. At the beginning of the 17-18 season, the regular right-back Nathaniel Clyne suffered a serious back injury again opening the doors for TAA.

However, he rotated with Joe Gomez, who also wanted some regular starts for the team. Alexander-Arnold’s first goal came for the club when he scored an outstanding free-kick in a 2-1 first-leg win against Hoffenheim at Anfield. He became the third-youngest player to score on his European debut for Liverpool, behind Michael Owen and David Fairclough.

His first Premier League goal came against Swansea City on the Boxing Day at Anfield in a destructive 5-0 win. Alexander-Arnold, then endured most difficult time in his career with the club to date when he struggled in back to back games against the Palace winger, Wilfred Zaha and Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford. 

Questions were raised on his defensive roles and qualities but Klopp kept faith in him, keeping in mind the attacking options he provides to the team. He then went on to become the youngest English player to start in a UCL quarterfinal match against their top rival in England, Manchester City.

His performance of keeping the German winger, Leroy Sane quiet and not left with many options, was well appreciated. Arnold accomplished yet another feat becoming the youngest Red to be a part of the UCL final against the 12-time European champions, Real Madrid. He was also the runner-up to the ex-Ajax defender, Matthijs de Ligt for the Golden Boy award.

Since then Arnold has become a constant in Klopp’s team and he barely disappoints. Arnold also became the youngest player to record three assists in a single game, setting up Sadio Mane twice and Virgil Van Dijk too. He has already been a part of the PFA Team of the year alongside club teammates Van Dijk, Sadio Mane and Andrew Robertson.

He also holds the record of registering most assists by a defender in a single Premier League season, 12 in the 2018-19 campaign. Being just 21 years of age, Arnold is already on course to beat Paul Scholes’ all-time Premier League assist tally. Trent Alexander- Arnold is just 34 assists away from equalling the legendary United players tally.

The surprising fact is that Arnold has over 400 games to achieve this and the 21-year-old is already on the road to becoming a very important part of football history. He was also praised by both the current and ex-Liverpool boss, Jurgen Klopp and Brendan Rodgers on how good a talent he is, his passing and shooting abilities, free kicks and not to forget, his mentality despite his age the delicious whips in the box are always very threatening for the opposition party. 

featured image credits- Football Fancast

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