Trent Alexander-Arnold has opened up on a piece of advice which he uses to ensure each year of his career is not a wasted one.
The career span of a professional footballer is not set in stone, such is the unpredictable nature of injuries, form and the inevitable retirement – typically in one’s thirties.
If you were to break onto the scene, as Trent did, at 18 years of age you could expect anywhere up to potentially 17 years as a senior professional, and each year in club football provides at least three shots at silverware which can rise to six with European success.
And it is this perspective which is driving Liverpool’s No. 66 each time he walks across the white line, thanks to a timely word from the club’s academy manager Alex Inglethorpe.
“I want every trophy and as many of them as possible,” Trent explained in an interview for MR PORTER.
“I remember Alex Inglethorpe breaking it down into a thought process that I’ve never stopped thinking about since. It was when I was around 18 and he asked me ‘When do you retire? Maybe when you’re around 34 or 35.’
“That’s 17 years. So, you’ve only got 17 attempts to win the Premier League, 17 attempts to win the Champions League or any other trophy. As much you think that’s a long time, the reality is you get only 17 tries and there will be failure, which is natural and will reduce that number.
“I’ve been in the senior team fully for three seasons,” he added. “The first try ended in a Champions League final defeat. The second, we missed the title by one point but became champions of Europe. This season, we’re about to win the Premier League.
“So, I’m already thinking I’ve only got 14 more chances. Even though you can play hundreds of games, the fact is you only get a few attempts at silverware. I really pour everything into each season and focus on the here and now.
“It doesn’t help to think about the future and winning five or six trophies or whatever because you’re then losing sight of the opportunity in front of you to do something special.
“I know that if you get into that relentless habit, with a great team, a great manager and a great support structure, the chances will automatically be maximised.”
And they certainly are with Liverpool under the tutelage of Jurgen Klopp, a manager who has transformed the club, ended a 14-year wait for the European Cup and is now set to become the first man to lead the Reds to a league title in 30 years.
Trent has been an instrumental part of the aforementioned success, and that still to come, as despite being only a 21-year-old he has made 127 appearances, set up 34 goals and scored seven of his own.
He has three, soon to be four, honours to his name and your guess is as good as mine as to how many he will end his career with – but at this point in time, you would not bet against that figure rising well into the double digits.