Football

Trent Alexander-Arnold was handed his first Liverpool appearance against Tottenham in the League Cup on Tuesday night.

Karl Robinson reveals Liverpool 'kidnapped' youngster from Everton

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Liverpool and Everton enjoy a passionate rivalry on Merseyside, and not much flares up their hatred more than one pipping the other to the signing of a highly-rated young prospect.

And it appears the Toffees were left to rue the moment that 18-year-old right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold joined the Reds after a battle to keep the striker-turned-defender from Everton's clutches.

The right-back signed for the club in 2004 and made his debut in Tuesday night's 2-1 EFL Cup victory over Tottenham, with Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp yet again utilising the younger players at his disposal.

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However, former MK Dons boss Karl Robinson has admitted that Liverpool had to go to great lengths to secure the services of Alexander-Arnold, who arrived at a very young age alongsides the likes of Jordan Rossiter and Connor Randall.

"I signed Trent. I was watching the game on Tuesday night and I got all emotional." said Robinson, as per the Daily Mail, who worked as a coach at the club's academy.

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"He had a choice between Liverpool and Everton, and we literally kidnapped him! We wouldn't let him anywhere because he was so good. He was a striker as a kid.

"He was the best by a long way. We did everything we possibly could to sign him.

"Cameron Brannagan was a bit older than him. Jordan Rossiter and Connor Randall were also part of that batch of players we signed at six, seven and eight.

"I'm watching these kids now and thinking 'remember the battle we had trying to sign him.'"

Klopp boost for youngsters

In the past, Liverpool's academy graduates chances of following in the footsteps of Reds legend Steven Gerrard and, most recently, Raheem Sterling, were significantly reduced. However, the arrival of Klopp last October has been a big boost to the club's youngsters.

Robinson admits Alexander-Arnold's initial impression was a positive one, and admits his mother played a big part in his development.

Tranmere Rovers v Liverpool - Pre-Season Friendly

"He was brilliant. He was bubbly, fearless, the best player at that age. Trent's mum is an amazing woman who took him everywhere." Robinson added.

"It shocked the life out of me that Trent is a right-back. Maybe it's because he has the physical attributes to play out wide and can cope with the demands of the game there."

Alexander-Arnold's position on the field may have changed, but that hasn't stopped Robinson comparing the 18-year-old with Manchester United academy graduate Jesse Lingard, who has established himself in the Red Devils squad.

Comparison

"I'll tell you who he reminded me of as a kid - Jesse Lingard, who we had at Liverpool and then lost to Man United." said Robinson.

Chelsea v Manchester United - Premier League

Like with many youngsters at the Premier League's top clubs; a start in the cup competitions doesn't necessarily guarantee Alexander-Arnold a long-term future at Anfield, as exemplified by Rossiter.

The 19-year-old left the club for Scottish outfit Rangers this summer, after making numerous appearances in cup competitions  - namely the Europa League - and the Reds' young right-back can't afford to fall in the trap of thinking his future is secure.

But the early signs are promising for the academy graduate, and with Klopp monitoring his progress, the right-back knows opportunities will present themselves should he perform to the highest standards.

Did Tuesday's League Cup performance do enough to convince Jurgen Klopp that Trent Alexander-Arnold deserves more regular call ups to the first team? Have your say in the comment box below.

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Topics:
Steven Gerrard
Everton
Football
Premier League
James Milner
Liverpool
Daniel Sturridge
Jordan Henderson
Philippe Coutinho

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