“It’s incredible. People have to realise how tough it is to make it at such a big club like this and realise what he has actually done. How he has gone about his business is absolutely brilliant.”
Those are the words of Wolves captain Conor Coady, who, like Trent Alexander-Arnold, is a local lad and came through the academy at Liverpool.
Coady made two appearances for the Reds but never made it as a first-team regular at Anfield. He went on to play for Huddersfield before making a name for himself at Molineux instead.
He knows how remarkable Alexander-Arnold’s rise to prominence has been. Just three years ago, he hadn’t even made a senior appearance but just a few seasons on, he has made it to two Champions League finals and established himself as the country’s top right-back.
Considering he had spent most of his time in the youth team as a right winger, the speed at which he has learned and adapted his game to become a fullback is quite astounding.
A lot of credit has to go to manager Jurgen Klopp who put a lot of faith in Alexander-Arnold making the step up to the first-team. It hasn’t, though, all been plain sailing.
Due to the fact that he started out life playing further up the pitch, his positional sense defensively still leaves a lot to be desired, and that was magnified during his first season in the first-team setup in a match against rivals Manchester United.
He struggled badly against Marcus Rashford during the 2-1 defeat back in March 2018, but Klopp kept faith with him and allowed him to continue the learning process on the pitch.
Some could have buckled under the criticism but Alexander-Arnold came back stronger and was one of the standout performers in the Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid last May.
His attitude is something that is often overlooked considering his other obvious talents, but you can clearly see in interviews how level headed and ambitious he is. The 20-year-old wants to become Liverpool captain one day and you wouldn’t bet against him doing just that.
With one full campaign under his belt, Alexander-Arnold went into last season full of confidence, and he hasn’t looked back since. With his wand of a right boot delivering balls into the box, he racked up a record 16 assists in all competitions.
Defensively, he’s improved as well, helping Liverpool to concede the fewest goals in the Premier League last season. Barely out of his teenage years, he also helped to clinch the club’s sixth European title, with his own personal highlight coming in the semi-final with his quick corner against Barcelona.
The sky really is the limit for this local kid who could spend the next 10 to 15 years in Liverpool’s first team. “Incredible” is certainly the best word to describe Alexander-Arnold.