Trent Alexander-Arnold has seen his name in the papers for a different reason this season with England selection having loomed large, putting his performances under the microscope.
The narrative is that he is the defensively weaker option at right-back for Gareth Southgate, but it’s a lazy one as the stats don’t lie when up against Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier and Reece James.
There should be no debate as to whether he deserves a place in Southgate’s Euros squad, with the Premier League and Champions League winner one of the very best in his position.
And his former team-mate Adam Lallana, writing in a column for the Times, has commended Alexander-Arnold’s bouncebackability in thrusting his status at the top of the game back into everyone’s minds.
“When I think of Trent Alexander-Arnold, a number of qualities immediately come to mind,” Lallana said.
“His passing range, first and foremost, and then there is his football brain. He is so wise for a player who is still only 22.
“The reaction he has shown to being left out by England in March has been nothing short of sensational and his displays for Liverpool have meant that he deserved to be included in Gareth Southgate’s provisional squad for the European Championship.
“If you look at Trent’s career, his trajectory has gone up and up and there was always going to be a moment when he would suffer a setback.
“Sometimes, as players, you need these moments and these lows to push you on again.
“Watching him over the past couple of months of the season, he has done all he can to put himself in contention to make the final 26-man squad and has reaffirmed to everyone that he is one of the best full-backs in the world.”
Liverpool’s right-back was selected in the provisional 33-man squad, which will be cut to 26 by June 1, but all signs point to a fight on his hands for a place at the summer’s competition.
Southgate had hinted at Alexander-Arnold’s flexibility to play in midfield as another string to his bow, but while Lallana knows he will not “have lost that positional awareness” from his youth days, “his rhythm will be as a right-back.”
It is a position where he has “highlighted his value” in the second half of the season, having been a leading light in Liverpool’s charge to third to leave no doubts over his quality and what he can bring to the table.
It can be easy to forget Alexander-Arnold is 22 years of age, but his standing in the game is second to none and there shouldn’t even be a question over his name for England selection.