All of the warm and fuzzy Virgil van Dijk-to- Liverpool news has given Reds fandom a fresh reason to dream of the club’s future success. Van Dijk is an honest to goodness accomplished defender. He’s also friends with Gini. Say no more. But another honest to goodness defender, and semi-regular goal threat for Liverpool, that’s been getting we glorious supporters to dreamland is a nineteen-year-old named Trent Alexander-Arnold.
TAA is the business. And no slight meant to the also-impressive Joe Gomez but Alex-A is the future at right back, the true threat to, an unfortunate, Nathaniel Clyne’s position. Talk to me about a future Gomez-Van Dijk partnership in the back, though, and I will urinate on your hardwoods from sheer canine glee.
Along with his bag-full of natural talent, Trent also comes equipped with a satchel of captain material that he uses to add sparkle to his teammates reputations, thus spreading the energy crystals or whatever.
Recently, the young defender was asked to weigh in on those lovable ‘fab four’ scamps. How do they do it, Trent? What’s their secret? Is this a real block of cheese that I can eat?
“They get a lot of credit,” said Alexander-Arnold of Liverpool’s attacking masters, Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané, “but people don’t see what goes on behind the scenes.”
“Every single day they are working so hard. What they have achieved is because they work for it, not because it is all natural.”
What’s your favorite color? No, sorry that’s a question for my niece. She’s four. Anyway, I don’t know how those cards got in here.
Who’s the most difficult fab four to defend against? Bonus: What’s your favorite time of day?
“They are all as bad as each other to face in training,” Alexander-Arnold said. “It’s a nightmare because there is not real way to stop them as every one of them brings a different aspect to the pitch and it is crazy to play against.
“With the level being so high in training it is almost like a match situation. You are playing against better players than you are actually going to play against at the weekend and that makes it a lot easier to cope with.”
The jump from the Academy to Melwood must be enormous. A gargantuan leap. Particularly as a defender. Firmino’s coming at you, how do you stop him? Mohamed Salah. You know you just run Emre Can into a corner. But Mané and the wily Coutinho?
“It is crazy because as a defender you know if you do your job and keep clean sheets it is a solid foundation for the attackers and midfielders to go and do what they do best and that is score goals and create chances.
“When you are not involved in a goal you are almost like a fan with a different perspective. You are like ‘wow’. But in training you see it day in, day out.”
Trent Alexander-Arnold is a player on the rise and he’s feeling 100% Liverpool 100% of the time. Scouser’s blood. Merseyside Red. Scoring goals, taking names. Knee slides as far as the eye can see. Virgil van Dijk is the savior we’ve been pining for, but TAA is the one we never knew we needed until he swaddled us in his teenaged glory. Go, Trent, go.