Liverpool have an envious pair of full backs in Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold. The PFA and UEFA Champions Team of the Season teammates combined to provide 29 assists in all competitions while bookending Europe’s stingiest defense. With Robertson in his prime at 25 years of age and the Scouser scarily only just coming into his own at 20, the duo have established themselves as best in all the land in a very short amount of time.
Like all great athletes, the presence of a similarly excellent player on the same team has pushed each of them to heights neither would’ve imagined even a few seasons ago, leading to friendly rivalries on the pitch.
One such competition came about as a result of manager Jürgen Klopp’s tactical shift last season to move much of the attacking impetus into the wide positions. With both Robertson and Alexander-Arnold possessing the quality going forward as well as the engine and desire to keep up their defensive duties, the result was an unstoppable barrage of pinpoint crosses into the box.
The two racked up bogs of assists on the season, with Alexander-Arnold claiming the league record for assists by a defender with 12 and Robertson only one behind with 11. And now, with the Reds gearing up for another tough campaign, the Scotsman revealed that that most glorious of rivalries is back on again:
“We’ve had a brief discussion over it. We’ll set it up again,” Robertson told the team website in the lead up to the Reds matchup with Borussia Dortmund as part of their USA pre-season tour.
“Probably too much was made of it, but for me and Trent, it brought the best out of us, the numbers we both produced. Near the back end of the season he was unbelievable with the numbers he produced.
“I feel it brought the best out of both of us. If we can do that and get similar numbers this season, of course it helps the team. That’s what both of us want to do.
“But first and foremost we want to just put in the same performances we put in last season and try to kick on even further.
The Scotland international recently joined the team on the tour following a minor hand surgery to address an infection in his hand. With the duo rested and ready resume their lung-busting, swashbuckling runs up and down the pitch this season, it is the Reds who stand to benefit.