Liverpool have become the first Premier League club to appoint a mental health therapist to deal with an increase in online abuse faced by young players.
As technology and social habits develop through the years, the influence of social media on footballers has stepped up dramatically.
It is rare to see a player not comment on or react to a result on Twitter or Instagram after any game, while their interactions with fans have increased too.
For many, it is an extension of their personal brand, but for others, it is simply a part of their life, particularly those youngsters breaking through in the modern era.
As the club endeavours to cover as much ground as possible and support their players and staff, psychiatric therapist Ishbel Straker has now been brought in to give guidance.
The Mail report that Straker has been appointed to “hold one-on-one clinics with upcoming stars, helping them to cope with racist abuse, sudden fame and addiction issues.”
CEO of I Straker Consultants, the Liverpool-based therapist has been working with the club for the past three months, serving as an external consultant for the academy.
Straker’s focus within the club is racial trauma, which also affected Naby Keita last season, with a police investigation launched into online abuse of the midfielder, along with Alexander-Arnold, after the defeat to Real Madrid in April.
“The club is very keen to make sure the young players who are coming through, or just breaking into the first team, are prepared for what can come their way online,” a source told the Mail.
“Trolling for some footballers has been as bad as it ever has been in the last 12 months and most young players are locked into social media.
“The new mental health consultant is giving young players the chance to talk about the abuse they get and get bespoke advice on how they can cope with that.”