The inexorable churn for the next great hope at a football club is a morally sticky affair, often times, but it can be a real nice way to scrounge up optimism when things in the first team aren't going so hot. Enter the Liverpool under-18 side teeing off against fierce rivals in red, Manchester United. To the tune of a 4-0 victory, that is.
Yesterday's hero was young Trent Alexander-Arnold, who fans may remember from a deer-in-the-headlights appearance during the preseason fixture against Swindon Town. That day, the youngsters of note were Sheyi Ojo and Ryan Kent, who unsurprisingly loaned out shortly thereafter. It was also a day where Christian Benteke made a statement about the sort of shooting prowess he was fittin to bring to his new team. Those examples seem to have made an impact on young Trent.
Much more in his element against his fellow teens, Alexander-Arnold donned the captain's armband, blasted in a brace, and generally stamped his boot print all over this game. Joining him in the fun were another Portuguese prospect--a country Liverpool seem to have made a habit of scouting in recent times--Paulo Alves, and centerback Corey Whelan. The latter of the two actually made his bow for the U18s as a 14 year old.
Other than the absurdly difficult to process youth of these players (Whelan was born the same year Puff Daddy
paid Sting a lot of money released I'll Be Missing You), this U18 level is often the stage where top talents take that quantum step forward. Fans need to look no further than Joe Gomez or Jordan Rossiter this season to see examples of the mercurial nature of this age group.
Performing against Manchester United, then, is hopefully an indicator that Alexander-Arnold is flourishing into that next developmental step. And perhaps the first team will take a hint from the clinical finishing and stick it to our cousins in Blue today, eh?