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Trent Alexander-Arnold Is the Unofficial Darling of the English Media

England’s youngest squad member has stolen the spotlight, without even trying.

At 19, the Liverpool right back is England’s youngest squad member and somewhat of a wild card.

He had yet to make his senior international debut when he was named as part of Gareth Southgate’s 23-man England World Cup squad last month and was subsequently handed his senior debut, when he started England’s last international friendly against Costa Rica on 7 June 2018, playing for 64 minutes.

When asked whether he would hesitate to start Trent in England’s opening World cup fixture against Tunisia on 18 June 2018, Southgate said:

No, that’s why he’s here. I’ve not got a player in the squad who I would think twice about putting into the opening game of the World Cup. He’s here on merit. He’s performed exceptionally well this season and has settled into the group really well. I’m really pleased to have him with us. It’s a huge moment for him, of course, but well deserved.

Anyone who has watched him play for Liverpool this past season would attest to that fact. Trent has put in almost five crosses from open play per game in the Premier League which is more than any other full back in the top six. He has somehow made more dribbles per game than Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané and made more tackles per game (1.9) than any other Liverpool player. He made 33 appearances for Liverpool in all competitions last season and has impressed ever since making his debut for LFC in December 2016, and, it seems, that the media have been disarmed by him too.

But then, with interviews such as the one he did with BBC 5 Live’s World Cup Daily podcast, it’s easy to understand why, as Trent shared that his Mum checks up on him daily, saying:

She checks up every day to make sure I’m wearing sun cream and everything, she’s so into the details. The whole family’s like that, we keep well in touch. I call them a couple of times a day. It’s them you want to make proud. To see them with a smile on their face and to be proud of me is probably the biggest incentive I’ve got in football.

In an exclusive interview with talkSPORT on Thursday, Trent also admitted that he had no idea what to expect with being part of the World Cup England squad, and had this to say:

You don’t spend too much time together [with your clubs] but since I’ve come in the team is one, it’s a whole. Everyone’s got the same aims, the same goals and everyone’s bought into the idea of wanting success as a team. Coming into it I didn’t expect us to have such a good team morale, but I’ve been blown away. All the players have helped me become part of the team. We have a lot of time to just relax and there’s a lot of things to do within the hotel. You can chill by yourself, watch films or whatever. There’s lounge areas where you can just talk. The staff have done an excellent job. As soon as the games get up and running, that’s when a tournament properly kicks in. It’s a bit of a waiting game with us being one of the last teams to play. We’re all very excited for that game to come around on Monday.

Liverpool captain, Jordan Henderson, has taken it upon himself to look after his Liverpool teammate at the World Cup and Trent spoke very fondly of his mentor, throwing in some good-natured ribbing too. He said:

He’s definitely a mentor of mine. There’s a few [players] you quietly sit and watch to see how they go about their day. He’s definitely one of the ones over the course of the two years I’ve been with the [Liverpool] first team I’ve watched closely, and I’ve tried to pick up things he does that can make me a better player.
I’ve been playing table tennis with Hendo, but there’s a bit of a miscommunication. He did media yesterday and told everyone he was the champ so it’s only right I set the record straight.
You’ll have to get us both in the same room and ask the question, and the truth will come out. I’m table tennis champ over Hendo.

Catch Trent and Jordan in action on Monday, when England take on Tunisia in Group G at 7PM GMT/2PM EST at the Volgograd Arena.

For more of Trent; take a look at the video below from FourFourTwo

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