Liverpool’s fullbacks are enjoying quite the moment. The blistering run of form from both of Andrew Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold has put the entire soccer world on notice. When thinking of the best players in the world at their respective positions, the Scottish left back and the Scouser at right back are heralded at the top of most people’s lists.
We’ve got lots of love for Andrew Robertson around these parts. Robbo has, in his short time with the squad, vaulted from a player who maybe was pushing Alberto Moreno for playing time, to being a cult hero. Given his disarming charm and mischievous humor and rakish good looks - I mean, seriously, wouldn’t he be the lead in a YA romance? - it’s easy to understand why.
But of late, this scribe’s personal attention and affection have been fixed almost entirely on the young Scouser plying his trade on the opposite flank. Trent Alexander-Arnold is, unqualifiedly, a special, special player.
And that’s probably obvious given that I spent a lot of words extolling the young man’s clear maturity, and the overwhelmingly resonant desire to represent the city - and people - you love. I mean, who wouldn’t mist up - at least a little bit - thinking of TAA one day wearing the arm band? All of that to say there’s a lot in TAA that works for me.
But it’s also clear that his abilities have caught the eye of many others. One such person is none other than the last Scouse legend and captain of Liverpool, Steven Gerrard. In comments to the Liverpool Echo and and re-captured on the official site, Captain Fantastic himself weighs in on Liverpool’s new Scouse hero.
“I was lucky to have a few days around Trent during his Academy days and he stood out. Of course people always talk about his technique and the stuff they see, but I saw something in this kid that was more about character. Talent will get you to a certain place, but I saw that he had the fight, the desire and commitment and that is what will keep him there consistently throughout what will hopefully be a long career.”
That is high, high praise from a man that knows the heaviness of representing your hometown and boyhood club. The one that brought you up from its own academy.
What’s more, though, is that TAA looks to be in prime position to be that next representative for his community. Here’s hoping that TAA makes good on what looks to be a limitless well of talent.