Trent Alexander-Arnold is looking to be a mentor for Liverpool’s next generation of youngsters, with the 22-year-old naming Kaide Gordon as a “frightening” prospect.
Despite not celebrating his 23rd birthday until October, Alexander-Arnold is one of the senior figures within Jurgen Klopp‘s Reds squad.
Only Jordan Henderson, Roberto Firmino, James Milner, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah have made more appearances for the club, with the right-back hoping to spend the rest of his career at Anfield.
Having signed a new four-year contract with Liverpool earlier this summer, Alexander-Arnold has outlined his desire to become a leader within the group.
That extends to stepping up as a “mentor” for the younger players in the squad, with the No. 66 namechecking Gordon, who won’t turn 17 until later this year, and the 18-year-old Harvey Elliott as two he is working closely with.
“I’ve wanted to be with them like Hendo was with me – a mentor,” Alexander-Arnold told The Athletic.
“Hendo tried to lead by example and show me the way. Everything I do is trying to set the example for them, just as Hendo did for me.
“I think I’ve got a really good bond with the pair of them. Kaide has so much potential; it’s frightening, really.
“Same with Harvey. Going out last season and getting experience has been good for him.
“Hopefully this season he’ll get some more minutes under his belt and try and establish himself as part of the first-team setup.
“It’s an exciting time, to see two young lads come through.”
Alexander-Arnold will also be looking to help others aiming to break into the side, such as full-back duo Owen Beck and Conor Bradley, who have remained with the senior squad
for training at Kirkby.
With the West Derby native having progressed from academy to first team, via Pepijn Lijnders‘ under-16s, he will be well-placed to advise those hoping to follow in his footsteps.
Given the speculation over Jordan Henderson‘s future, with his contract due to expire in 2023, Alexander-Arnold is shaping up as a future captain of Liverpool.
There will be other candidates, such as Virgil van Dijk, but it would be no surprise to see the right-back wear the armband more frequently when Klopp’s established leaders are out.
As for Gordon and Elliott, they couldn’t have wished for a better role model than Alexander-Arnold.