Trent Alexander-Arnold, who just notched his first goal for the Three Lions on Friday, has seen a rapid rise at Liverpool under Jürgen Klopp. Still only 20-years-old, the England international has become a mainstay in Liverpool’s defensive line, having overtaken Nathaniel Clyne at right-back. His impressive speed on the wing, levelheadedness with the ball, and accurate crosses have helped lead the Reds on an unbeaten 12 game run to start the Premier League season.
There’s no doubt that Alexander-Arnold feels affection for the German manager that showed such confidence in him and his abilities as a teenager.
About Klopp’s management technique, Alexander-Arnold told the official magazine, “He obviously wants the best from everyone in his team and I like his honesty. He’s always straight with you and that’s good because you know what he’s saying is the truth, so you really listen to it and apply it to yourself. I think the way he goes about it is perfect. He knows when to be harsh with someone and when to put his arm around someone and help them along in tough times. I’ve experienced that a few times and it’s helped me to keep on performing.”
But does Klopp have any particular targets that he wants Alexander-Arnold to achieve? Not really, Trent admits.
“The manager hasn’t set me any specific targets but as a full-back you need to get goals and assists in the modern game. Without him saying it, I think we both know that full-backs need to do that, so let’s say my own target would be more goals, more assists and more contributions going forward as well as helping the team to keep more clean sheets.”
In Klopp’s set up, full-backs provide an integral element of the team’s attack, while also helping to safeguard their own goal. While Alexander-Arnold has shown a knack for hitting the perfect cross, in the last few games, he struggled and made some poor choices on the ball in the attacking third. It’s easy to see the areas where he needs to improve, and it’s heartening to know that he sees that in himself as well.