Liverpool have been imperious both domestically and in Europe over the past two seasons, and a significant part of their evolution under Jurgen Klopp has been bringing through Trent Alexander-Arnold at right-back.
The 21-year-old local lad is already a fan favourite on the red half of Merseyside, but he has also transformed himself into one of the Premier League’s most potent creative assets over the course of the past two seasons having provided 24 assists. But after progressing through Liverpool’s youth ranks as a central midfielder, the Englishman revealed why he decided to make the switch to defence.
What did he say?
Speaking to BBC Sport, when asked why he made the switch, Alexander-Arnold said: “I wanted to get into the first team as soon as possible, and we decided that was the most straightforward route.”
After being asked how he found the adjustment, the England international replied: “It was difficult because when you play higher up, you are very rarely isolated in a defensive situation. I probably get more of the ball now than I did when I was in midfield. It’s about trying to influence the game as much as possible from out there.”
Alexander-Arnold, valued at £99m (Transfermarkt), is the first Liverpool player and first defender to provide more than ten assists in consecutive Premier League seasons, having notched 12 last term whilst achieving the same feat again already this campaign. At just 21 years old, the right-back is rapidly hunting down Leighton Baines’ record for the most Premier League assists by a full back, 53, as the Reds’ right-back already has 25 to his name.
Since he decided to adapt to break into the first team as soon as possible, the move has proved to be career-defining. He has thrived in the role and become an integral member of Liverpool’s squad racking up 83 Premier League appearances at a blisteringly fast pace while having only lost six top-flight matches in that period. Alexander-Arnold has already featured in two Champions League finals, lifting the trophy last season and he looks set to add a Premier League winners medal to his growing collection.