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Trent Alexander-Arnold is forging new and “iconic” steps as Liverpool’s No. 66

From his days at the academy to flying high as a key member of Jurgen Klopp’s side, the attitude and application of Liverpool’s No. 66 has never wavered.

Alexander-Arnold joined Liverpool’s famed academy when he was just six years old, where he swiftly rose through the ranks to make his debut at 18 years of age and by the time he was 20, he would be crowned a European champion.

While working at the academy, Steven Gerrard had written in his autobiography about the potential of another local talent:

“Trent Arnold has a terrific chance of making it as a top professional” he “seems to have all the attributes you need. He has the right attitude.”

While his ability was unquestionable, it is the latter which Jurgen Klopp values and builds his team around, with his search for players often based around those who want to “push the train, not jump on the running train” as “character is always very important.”

And Lee Radcliffe, the club’s kit management coordinator, was full of glowing words for the well-mannered man he was and still is when speaking to LiverpoolFC.com.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 4, 2019: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold shakes hands with manager Jürgen Klopp as he is substituted during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Everton FC, the 234th Merseyside Derby, at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“He’s unbelievable. Trent just came down [to Melwood] and his manners were unbelievable for such a young lad. 

“He was obviously quite quiet – and I think he still is now, even though he’s in with the main crew of Hendo, Chambo etc. When he’s in that group he’s quite lively within that group, which is good. 

“But apart from that, you still see him with Ben Woodburn and he’ll walk past like, ‘Good morning, Lee’. He just doesn’t complain. 

“If it’s a game and he wants a long-sleeve compression top, he’ll come in the kit room at Anfield and he’ll be like, ‘Oh Lee, can I have a long-sleeve top please?’ Everything is just nice in the way he asks.”

From consistently giving back to his local community to the way he handles himself in the spotlight, he acts as the ideal role model for any young player looking to follow in his footsteps.

Trent Alexander Arnold, corner, Anfield, sky (Image: Darren Staples/Sportimage via PA Images)

Trent would pretend to be Gerrard growing up and now many don the No. 66 and do the same, a shirt number which has now become “iconic.”

For any young player rising through the ranks at a football club, one is often bestowed with a number closer to 50 or 100 than one, a move which looks to negate the line of thinking that “they’ve made it straight away.”

And by not giving any thought to move down a number, Trent has bucked the trend and with it forged his own path in a shirt not previously worn by any senior Liverpool player.

“When you see him now lifting trophies and celebrating with No.66 on the back, it’s a weird feeling and I can’t really describe it,” Radcliffe added.

“It’s weird to see such a high number and for someone to be happy with it! 

“Someone like Trent has just been happy to be around the first team and obviously doesn’t realise how good he is. He doesn’t really ask for anything, to be honest. 

“I think he’s that laidback that he’s obviously been given the number and thought, ‘Yeah, that’ll do me. I’ll keep that’, and not realised how iconic it’s become over the years.

“I think it’s a number quite close to a lot of fans’ hearts now, as well as staff because it’s a local lad that’s come through. 

“The amount of kids you see walking around in a ’66’, it’s weird that it’s actually stuck. It was one of them that you give out and expect a year later that it’ll get passed on to someone else.”

Since making his senior bow against Tottenham in 2016, Trent has go on to play a further 124 games as No. 66, a run which includes winning the Champions League, Super Cup and Club World Cup – and his career is still only in its infancy.

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