Despite still being aged at just 20 and having only made his professional debut back in 2016, Trent Alexander-Arnold has quickly made a name for himself as one of the best attacking full-backs in the world. The defender helped Liverpool in winning the Champions League last season, with the former academy graduate having played a key role in Jurgen Klopp’s fast-paced strategy. So, just how has Alexander-Arnold risen to the top of the game so quickly?
Despite some still believing that his future perhaps lies in a midfield role, Alexander-Arnold’s stats suggest that he will be featuring in the backline for some time to come. The England international recorded 12 assists during the 18/19 Premier League campaign, the third highest in the entire top-flight, with his quality in the final third complementing perfectly a Liverpool side who are known for their fluidity.
Alexander-Arnold is perhaps unsurprisingly among the favourites to win the PFA Young Player of the Year Award with many of the leading sites for football betting, having lost out to former teammate Raheem Sterling last time around. The youngster provided two assists in Liverpool’s opening four matches of the season, while alongside the likes of Andrew Robertson, Joel Matip and Virgi van Dijk, he helped Liverpool in conceding just 22 goals during the 18/19 campaign, a record which almost saw them win the Premier League title for the first time.
Liverpool’s Champions League semi-final comeback victory over Barcelona back in May was certainly one of the standout performances of Alexander-Arnold’s short career to date, with his assist for what was ultimately the decisive goal from Divock Origi having demonstrated his outstanding footballing brain. It is such quality that has lead to many believing that he will soon be a regular starter for both club and country, despite the form of Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier, along with the emergence of Manchester United’s Aaron Wan Bissaka.
While there are still certainly improvements to be made in a defensive sense, with the full-back still being caught out of position on occasion, Alexander-Arnold is perhaps the most exciting defender in the game at present, with his all-round game having paved the way for a new generation of full-backs, whose passing is as important as their tackling.
Alexander-Arnold has rarely looked out of place in a Liverpool side that contains world class talent in the form of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Van Dijk, with his maturity having ensured that he now has a great responsibility to regularly provide width on the right-hand side of the pitch. The defender had the fifth most touches of the football in the entire Premier League last season, with his range and accuracy in this area also making him a huge asset at both a club and international level.
Trent Alexander-Arnold is undoubtedly a player who has the world at his feet, with his athleticism, awareness and quality on the ball having quickly seen him become one of the most valuable defenders in football.