After watching Liverpool’s performance yesterday, it’s easy to understand why Steven Gerrard described youngster Trent Alexander-Arnold as having a “terrific chance of making it as a top professional” in his autobiography.
The 18-year-old made his debut in the EFL Cup win over Tottenham - becoming the 17th player Jurgen Klopp has handed a Liverpool debut to - and looked rather impressive.
He made a couple of surging runs forward from right-back and even had Graeme Souness singing his praises after Liverpool’s 2-1 victory.
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“He looks extremely athletic, quick, aggressive,” Souness told Sky Sports, per the Daily Mail.
“He has all the attributes to be a top player. He's in great shape for a ground-coverer… light on his feet, and he's aggressive. He got himself in trouble once in the first half, but overall I thought he was very good.”
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A wild challenge on Ben Davies in the first half, which Mauricio Pochettino thought was deserving of a red card, highlighted Alexander-Arnold’s inexperience, but early signs are positive.
Gerrard highlighted the youngster’s versatility in his 2015 autobiography, My Story. Alexander-Arnold played a right-back last night, the position he has made his own for Liverpool’s youth team, and he’s also comfortable in midfield.
“He’s quite leggy but he’s got a lovely frame and seems to have all the attributes you need,” Gerrard wrote.
“So Trent is another Scouser and apparently, just as I tried to be John Barnes and Steve McMahon, he grew up pretending to be me while playing in the Merseyside parks.
“He can play as a number 6, a holding midfielder, but he’s versatile and I’ve seen him fill various positions.
“I know England are all over him.”
Endorsements from two former Liverpool players will fill Alexander-Arnold with a great deal of confidence.
However, the one man he is seeking approval from is Jurgen Klopp. He got it to a certain extent, with the Liverpool boss claiming Alexander-Arnold had a “wonderful start”, but that he and fellow debutant Ovie Ejaria “can play better”.
There was a pretty touching moment when Alexander-Arnold was replaced by Nathaniel Clyne with 20 minutes to go.
Klopp leaned in for a handshake with the teenager, but ended up getting a big hug instead.
Alexander-Arnold’s individual highlights can be seen below. The hug with Klopp happens at 3:57.