Jurgen Klopp lavished praise on Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold, after the teenager signed a new five-year deal with the club.
Alexander-Arnold agreed an improved deal with the Reds after his return to pre-season training on Wednesday, keeping him at Anfield until 2022.
The 18-year-old opted out of England duty at the European U19 Championship in Georgia in order to focus on Liverpool’s preparations for the 2017/18 campaign.
This has clearly worked in his favour, with Klopp hailing the versatile youngster on his new contract, particularly highlighting Alexander-Arnold’s “benchmark attitude.”
“The credit for this is entirely with Trent,” he told LiverpoolFC.com.
“Yes, those of us around him have played a part as well: coaches, team-mates, academy and development staff.
“But Trent sets the tone for everything he does with his attitude and character.
“He commits to everything he does: he wants to learn, he wants to grow, he wants to develop and his focus is absolutely in the right place.
“He embraces being part of the first-team environment. He never shrinks or hides. We must remember he is young and is still at the very start of his journey.
“I have said before and believe in it completely—this club has the perfect culture and environment for helping young, talented players.
“But ultimately it’s about them and Trent has had a benchmark attitude so far. The challenge for him now is to maintain this and even improve it.”
Klopp insisted that there is still a way to go for Alexander-Arnold, with next season bringing a challenge with Nathaniel Clyne for a regular first-team role.
But the German believes the teenager stands as “an example” to the club’s academy, having broken through and grasped his opportunity, showcasing the perfect attitude.
“Trent and the people he has in his life—personally and professionally—make such smart decisions,” he added.
“I love that he is so humble, yet has such big ambitions. This is a wonderful mixture.
“The club have made it clear to all our young players that as they grow and improve so will our commitment to them. This is an example of that.
“We offer opportunity—that’s key to what we believe in—but we also offer a culture where progress is rewarded. Trent has earned this new deal.”
Alexander-Arnold will be hoping to build on his new contract with a series of impressive displays throughout pre-season, with his first opportunity coming against Tranmere Rovers.
He is likely to be included for the Reds’ trip to Hong Kong for the Premier League Asia Trophy, as well as the subsequent tour of Germany and, finally, against Athletic Bilbao in Dublin.