Three years since making his full Liverpool league debut, Trent Alexander-Arnold is one of the world’s finest full-backs—and there’s more to come.
Back in 2017, the untested teenager had only recently transitioned from midfielder to attack-minded defender, but he has since gone on to play at a World Cup, reach two Champions League finals and is within touching distance of a league title.
It’s not a bad rise—but the boss says much more lies ahead, thanks in no small part to the “background” Trent has, as much as his qualities on the ball.
Speaking to journalists at his pre-match press conference, Klopp made it clear exactly how Alexander-Arnold will continue to grow as a player and why his off-the-pitch environment is as important as his approach to football life.
“The games he played will make him better, the experiences will, his team-mates will, being around these boys made him and will make him better,” Klopp said.
“His game understanding will improve, it’s already really good but will improve, that’s a natural thing.
“Apart from injuries I don’t see anything that can stop him because his attitude and private background is just so good.
“Passionate, yes, very, but calm as well so that’s [a] very good basis, his family created that for him and he has a very close relationship to them which is good.
“They keep him grounded, not sure he needs it to be honest but if he starts flying I know exactly who will get him back! I don’t have to do that!
“When you are a talented footballer and have an outstanding attitude, if you love the game as much as he loves the game, and you have the background he has, it’s pretty likely you will have a proper career.
“A lot of good things came together and now we have this kind of player. Long, long, long may it continue!”
Trent has so far made 115 first-team appearances for the Reds, with only Raheem Sterling (129) having made more after progressing through the Academy since Steven Gerrard.
The No. 66 has, of course, been a much more long-term development by the club than Sterling, signed as a 15-year-old, was, but he has in his own way gone on to prove just as exceptional a talent.
A few more spot-on deliveries this weekend and he’ll have the perfect game to remember as he clocks up three years in the Premier League team at Liverpool—and hopefully take one more big step toward claiming the most coveted trophy of all.