Trent Alexander-Arnold started out in midfield, spent some time on the wing, and then to most everyone’s surprise ended up the backup for Nathaniel Clyne at right back this season. It was a big ask for a talented but inexperienced 19-year-old, but so far he’s looked up to the task.
His delivery in the final third was a touch shaky in a pair of appearances against Plymouth in the FA Cup and a start against Manchester United in the league. Outside that, though, his play has been nearly flawless, and it has clearly impressed former Liverpool midfielder Jan Mølby
“That's what's impressed me most about Trent whenever I've seen him, his defensive ability,” noted Mølby in his column for the Liverpool Echo. “We know he's an athlete and that he likes to bomb forward whenever he can. But to survive as a right back, you've got to be able to defend. Trent can.
“He likes a tackle—he's very Scouse in that sense!—but he's also very alert, covers well and has good positional sense. He's always switched on. Against Plymouth, he made a vital challenge to stop what looked a certain goal. Right place, right time. No fluke.”
Clyne won’t have cause to worry about his starting place just yet, perhaps, but certainly it’s been comforting for Liverpool fans to learn that Alexander-Arnold is a legitimate, high-quality option for any time Clyne is injured or simply in need of a little bit of rest.
And he’s part of a growing crop of Liverpool youngsters who have impressed when given the chance under Jürgen Klopp, many of whom look as though they have bright futures at Anfield and serving as validation for Klopp’s determination to only look to the transfer market for clearly top talent.
“I’m excited by him, as I am by a few of the other young prospects,” Mølby added. “I know Jurgen Klopp has handed out a lot of debuts since he's been at the club—mainly out of necessity—but I get the impression that he rates the crop who are in and around the first team squad right now.
“Trent, Ben Woodburn, Ovie Ejaria, Joe Gomez, Sheyi Ojo—we'll be seeing a lot more of them in the months and years to come, I'm sure.”