Since his debut in 2016, Alexander-Arnold has cemented himself as one of Jurgen Klopp‘s most important players; only six have made more appearances for the manager than his 181.
The 22-year-old is likely to break into the club’s all-time top 100 appearance-makers this season, and having signed a new four-year contract this summer he is primed to blossom in the campaigns to come.
While prospects come and go at Kirkby, Alexander-Arnold’s rise to world-class quality makes it all worth it for the coaches working in the academy, and he has been followed by a new generation of talents.
Williams is among those, with the 20-year-old now a regular with Wales and settled as backup for Liverpool, and he believes the current crop have laid the pathway for those following them.
“I look at the likes of Trent, Curtis and myself and think because we’ve all been through the age groups at the academy we know what it takes,” he told the club’s matchday programme.
“I hope the younger lads in the academy now look up to us because we’ve been there, we know what it’s like.
“We’ve played in the FA Youth Cup, we’ve been through the age groups up to the U23s and first team.
“We’ve shown that with hard work, determination and commitment that anything is possible.
“Even now I still look at Trent’s pathway. He went from being a little kid in the academy to having played 180 games for Liverpool.
“To have played so many games for Liverpool at his age is unreal, so I hope the academy lads look at players like him and realise that if they put in the hard work and commitment in, then anything is possible.”
With Liverpool having moved into the new £50 million facility at Kirkby, the option to call up young players for training sessions has now been made much easier.
It has seen the likes of Owen Beck, Conor Bradley and Tyler Morton benefit in recent months, and Williams has explained the improvement based on his experience as a youngster hoping to move up to Melwood.
“The U23s being next door to us now is much better,” he said.
“When I was growing up, the first team were at Melwood and it wasn’t the easiest of places to get to from the academy.
“If a first-team player dropped out with an injury or missed a session at short notice it was quite difficult to get somebody in from the academy to replace them.
“Whereas now if someone pulls up with an injury, is feeling a tight muscle or is ill, an U23s or U18s player can literally walk straight over here and in through the door.
“It gives them massive opportunities to come and train with the senior lads more regularly.”