LEEDS, ENGLAND - Monday, April 17, 2023: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold during the FA Premier League match between Leeds United FC and Liverpool FC at Elland Road. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Trent Alexander-Arnold hits new personal best in tweaked Liverpool role

Trent Alexander-Arnold clearly relished his new hybrid role in Liverpool’s 6-1 win over Leeds, hitting a new personal best for passes in doing so.

It took time for the No. 66 to hit his stride – and for Liverpool to find their structure – but when he did, he pulled the strings at Elland Road.

Having struggled as a more orthodox right-back for much of the season, Alexander-Arnold has shifted to a fluid midfield role in the past two games – though nominally, he remains a right-back.

There were signs of it working in the 2-2 draw with Arsenal, and after a slow start, it bore fruit as Liverpool thrashed Leeds on Monday night.

The role allows Alexander-Arnold to get on the ball and make things happen again, and according to Opta’s Michael Reid, it saw him produce the most successful passes of any game in his senior career (124):

From 136 attempts, he found his target with 124, with a pass accuracy of 91.2 percent bettered only by Virgil van Dijk (96.5%) and Alisson (91.3%).

The 24-year-old touched the ball 153 times, which is 92 more than the most-involved Leeds player, Rasmus Kristensen (61), and one fewer than their next three – Marc Roca, Weston McKennie and Junior Firpo – combined (154).

That number of touches was also the second-most of any player in the Premier League this season, underlining how dominant he was – albeit against a poor Leeds team.

There were two assists to go along with it – first for Cody Gakpo‘s opener and then Darwin Nunez‘s touch and finish to make it 6-1 – which brought his Premier League tally to 50.

Only two other defenders have hit a half-century of assists in the English top flight, those being Andy Robertson (55) and Leighton Baines (53).

In his post-match press conference, Jurgen Klopp saw the positives in tweaking Alexander-Arnold’s position, saying “you could see that he enjoyed it.”

“He won the ball back for the first goal from that position, really stepping out,” he told reporters.

“It was good. Impressive. I think the highlight was the last pass [for Nunez], but he had a few more from that position.

“Wherever Trent is, he can be decisive with his passes. He was this very often for us, that’s how it is.

“Tonight was a good game. You could see that he enjoyed!”