LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, May 18, 2024: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 2-0. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Why Trent Alexander-Arnold’s contract must be a priority for Liverpool this summer

Ahead of Arne Slot‘s first season in charge at Anfield, keeping hold of his best players should be his prime concern.

While much of the summer speculation centres on who may be coming in, there’s one man already playing in red who Slot will be desperate to keep hold of.

Trent Alexander-Arnold is heading into the final year of his contract amid ongoing speculation of interest from Spanish giants Real Madrid.

Other key figures in Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah also have contracts expiring next year, but Alexander-Arnold’s age means tying him down to a fresh deal should be the number one priority for the club this summer.


A player heading into his prime

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, April 21, 2024: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold celebrates after scoring the first goal during the FA Premier League match between Fulham FC and Liverpool FC at Craven Cottage. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

There’s no doubt that the 25-year-old would step into any eleven in Europe and immediately improve them.

As a club with a rich history of competing on the continent, forfeiting a player of Trent’s talent would provide a huge leg-up for their rivals domestically and abroad.

He was a vital pillar in Liverpool’s success under Klopp, who handed him his debut against Tottenham in the Carabao Cup back in October 2016.

Already boasting 310 appearances for the club, Alexander-Arnold has won every major trophy on offer in red and rightly stands as one of the standout players in his position across the game.

Trent Alexander-Arnold at LFC

GAMES: 310
HONOURS: Champions League 2019, Super Cup 2019, Club World Cup 2019, Premier League 2019/20, League Cup 2022, FA Cup 2022

The Liverpudlian is also still yet to enter his prime years, meaning Liverpool could risk another club enjoying his best days if they don’t address the situation appropriately in the coming months.

Conor Bradley‘s emergence during the Scouser’s spell on the sidelines cushioned the blow of the No. 66’s absence last season, but losing him permanently would surely leave the club with the impossible task of replacing the best right-back currently operating in the sport.


The threat of Bellingham?

FRANKFURT, GERMANY - Thursday, June 20, 2024: England's Jude Bellingham (L) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (R) on the pitch before the UEFA Euro 2024 Group C match between Denmark and England at the Waldstadion. The game ended in a 1-1 draw. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Real Madrid have already pried one generational talent from the grasp of Liverpool.

Los Blancos announced the signing of midfielder Jude Bellingham from Borussia Dortmund last summer after months of speculation linking him with a switch to the Reds.

The move did nothing to harm Alexander-Arnold’s relationship with Bellingham, though, and the two have remained good friends despite the latter’s decision to sign with the Spanish giants.

The pair have been pictured together regularly throughout England’s Euro 2024 campaign, and Bellingham will surely look to plant seeds ahead of a potential move to the Spanish capital for his fellow countryman.

Liverpool have benefitted from players luring former transfer targets to the club in the past.

Georginio Wijnaldum (r) of Liverpool celebrates with Virgil Van Dijk after scoring his teams fifth goal of the game during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. Picture date: 4th December 2019. Picture credit should read: James Wilson/Sportimage via PA Images

Gini Wijnaldum admitted telling Virgil van Dijk to ‘follow his heart’ ahead of the Dutch centre-back’s transfer to Merseyside in January 2018. Van Dijk then repaid the favour by convincing Cody Gakpo to put pen to paper with the club four years later.

Liverpool could soon find themselves victim of player-to-player exchanges if Bellingham gets his way, though, and Alexander-Arnold could follow Kylian Mbappe as another Madrid statement signing as they look to dominate Europe once again over the coming decade.


The obvious advantage

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 3, 2023: Liverpool's match-winning goal-scorer Trent Alexander-Arnold celebrates after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Fulham FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 4-3. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool, though, hold a significant advantage over any potential suitors for Alexander-Arnold; he is a born-and-bred supporter.

The Scouser has spoken about his deep love for the club on numerous occasions and will surely want to remain in Liverpool colours provided the club can satisfy any expectations.

The Mail‘s Lewis Steele reported that Alexander-Arnold “has given no indication” of a wish to depart the club back in March despite the ongoing rumours of Madrid’s interest.

Steele also said the West Derby-born defender “loves the idea of one day becoming captain at Anfield and was keen to be part of a ‘new cycle of success’ at the club.”

Negotiations should surely be straightforward with all parties seemingly on the same page in wanting the defender to remain with the club beyond next summer.

Not only would a fresh deal secure the services of an immensely talented player but would also act as a statement move ahead of a new era at Anfield under Dutch coach Slot.


Will he sign a new contract?

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 7, 2024: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold celebrates his side's opening goal during the FA Cup 3rd Round match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC at the Emirates Stadium. Liverpool won 2-0. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Though any answer to this question is purely guesswork at the time of writing, the defender’s long affinity with the club coupled with Liverpool’s track record of keeping hold of senior players in recent years suggests he will remain in red for the foreseeable future.

Despite harbouring some of the best players in the world over the last six or so years, Philippe Coutinho and Wijnaldum remain the only two players to depart at the peak of their powers during that time.

Even they likely regret opting to move away from Merseyside after suffering a significant decline in form during their post-Liverpool careers.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 9, 2023: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold (R) celebrates with match-winning goal-scorer Harvey Elliott during the FA Premier League match between Crystal Palace FC and Liverpool FC at Selhurst Park. Liverpool won 2-1. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool have gained a reputation for their efficiency in negotiating, whether it be with players already on the books or those they seek to bring in.

Following the return of Michael Edwards and the appointment of Richard Hughes at management level, expect negotiations with Alexander-Arnold to ramp up in the coming months as the club looks to retain one of the most naturally gifted players with a ball at his feet.