It’s coming up Trent Alexander-Arnold. At the start of Liverpool’s preseason the idea of the young fullback getting the nod at Vicarage Road would have seemed like a gamble. Nathaniel Clyne was supposed to be the guy. That was the plan. But Clyne went and got himself some hamstring problems and mixed them with a back problem and the combo has put a damper on the English right back’s return to training.
Alexander-Arnold has got to be ahead of both Joe Gomez and Jon Flanagan, neither of which impressed much during their showings in Germany. Granted, maybe Gomez hasn’t quite assimilated to Jürgen Klopp’s methods after missing a lot of time with the manager. But Flanagan still has the same tendency to get caught out and make the same unfortunately late challenge that often puts our opponents in terrific striking positions. Alexander-Arnold will have his sloppy moments but on the evidence of his handling of Franck Ribery, among others during preseason, the 18-year-old defender is the one ready to take the step. He’s the one that has what the team needs.
“I’m not sure whether I will get that opportunity but I am hoping to take it if I do get it,” said TAA.
“I’ll be fighting for that position as will all the other lads. There are a lot of strong players here and we could put two different teams out at the start of the season.
“If the chance comes, I’ll be ready. If there is an opportunity you have to take it. If I get told I am playing against Watford I will look to take that chance.”
He will give it everything’s he’s got, you can be sure of that. This is the guy who decided against going to the Under-19 European Championship with England so that he could have a full preseason with Liverpool. Now, he’s first in line to show at Watford. And then until. Because Clyne’s situation doesn’t have a timeline.
This could be the guy who earns himself Liverpool’s right flank this year. I don’t think it will happen from day one but it could happen. Alexander-Arnold has a strong head for the game and his statements regarding any souvenir hunting at Bayern Munich’s Allianz Arena show him to be a player who has the confidence to play true to himself regardless of the opposition. Mental toughness, etc.
“I just went straight into the changin room because that is what I am used to doing. I try not to pay too much respect to the players I am playing against. I think that is what can affect you. You have to got out there and focus on yourself and not who you are up against.”