Trent Alexander-Arnold believes his new midfield role will “bring the best out of him,” naming two of his influences from Liverpool’s past.
If you had any doubts over whether Liverpool would ditch their 3-4-3 system ahead of the new campaign, pre-season should have ended those.
Jurgen Klopp will build on his new formation, which includes an ongoing role for Alexander-Arnold starting from right-back and shifting into midfield.
While early friendlies against Karlsruher SC and Greuther Furth saw the new vice-captain deployed as a No. 6, that was primarily due to a lack of other options.
Speaking ahead of the meeting with Bayern Munich in Singapore, Alexander-Arnold discussed his adapted role with excitement.
“First of all, I think it’s clear to see I enjoy playing [in midfield],” he told reporters.
“Since the transition or slight change, adaptation, I’ve felt like it’s brought the best out of me again. It’s something I’m excited to play.
“There’s a lot of work that’s gone into it and there’s still a lot more that needs to happen to really iron out the creases on it, but we’re working on that.
“That’s what pre-season is for. We’re excited as a team, I’m excited for the season to start.
“In this system, making it work, new players, and having to adapt to it and make it work, having to think about it whilst playing, off the pitch too, studying it, learning, is something that I enjoy.
“This role is something that will definitely bring the best out of me, whether it’s starting in [midfield] or transitioning into it when in possession.
“For me, it’s just getting into those areas to impact the game, affect the game and use the skillset that I’ve got to help the team win the game.”
Sharing media duties with Klopp on Tuesday, Alexander-Arnold was asked which midfielders he looked up to as he grows into the new responsibility.
Unsurprisingly, he named two from Liverpool’s successful past, though adding that, as a “student of the game,” he is always learning.
“In terms of players, I’ve always admired quality passers of the ball,” he replied.
“I grew up watching Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso, so I was very fortunate in that respect.
“I’m a student of game, I love watching football.
“It’s not that I sit there every weekend with my notepad and think ‘what can I learn?’, it’s more just watching it and picking things up as it goes.
“When I do need to study it, then I’ll go and do that.
“But I enjoy the game, I love watching it, I love being around it, I think that helps with how I learn and how I adapt.”