Steven Gerrard has tipped Trent Alexander-Arnold to “get better and better” after the 19-year-old’s breakthrough campaign for Liverpool.
Alexander-Arnold made his first-team debut under Jurgen Klopp last season, but this time out has established himself as a regular in the senior setup.
The young right-back has featured 17 times so far this term, including 15 starts as he rotates with Joe Gomez, scoring three goals and laying on one other.
He was unfortunate not to have added more assists to his tally in Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Tottenham, with his delivery from the right flank providing a dangerous outlet for the Reds.
And assessing Alexander-Arnold’s form since stepping up to the first team, Gerrard insisted he was “very pleased but not surprised,” backing him to continue to improve.
“I worked with Trent when he was a kid before he progressed into the first team and it’s no shock or surprise to me that he’s finding his consistency,” he told LiverpoolFC.com.
“I thought he was excellent at the weekend; for a kid so young to actually see and then to execute the passes that he’s playing in the final third.
“That shows his confidence, it shows the confidence that the manager has got in him.
“What you’ve got to remember is, Trent’s body is going to change. He’s going to get fitter, he’s going to get stronger, he’s going to get more experienced.
“He’s going to get better and better, which is a very exciting thought for all Liverpool fans.”
Alexander-Arnold has benefited from being used more sparingly in recent weeks, with Gomez settling into the role of first-choice right-back in the absence of Nathaniel Clyne.
Instead, when he has been called upon the West Derby native has provided an energetic presence, with his desire to impress Klopp clear.
It remains to be seen whether right-back is his long-term position moving forward, as with Gomez, with a shift into his previous midfield role from his time with the U18s mooted.
But his apprenticeship in a demanding duty is proving invaluable, and doing so without the benefits of the physicality Gerrard alludes to is hugely impressive.
Honing his defensive game has been crucial, and against Spurs at Anfield he made two successful tackles (the most of any Liverpool defender), two interceptions and five clearances.