Superstar fullbacks are a rare thing in football. For every Roberto Carlos, Dani Alves and Phil Neal, there are hundreds of competent grafters, simply getting up and down the pitch, doing their job on defense, while contributing a little something in attack. For Liverpool to have two in the team at the same time is nearly unprecedented.
That is not to say that Andrew Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold are the same, nor that they occupy the same positions of status in the sport. Where the former is more of a traditional superstar fullback, in the mold of Bixente Lizarazu or Jordi Alba, Alexander-Arnold is rarely mentioned these days without some sort of reference to how he is redefining the position.
With 24 assists in his last 53 league appearances, it is hard to argue otherwise, and the sheer variety in the chances he creates, along with his overall importance in the approach play of what is inarguably one of the best club sides in history further hammers home the point. At 21, however, he is nowhere near the finished article.
“I’d say I haven’t reached full potential at all,” the fullback told GQ. “I’m not where I need to be and where I can be. So there’s no point putting a label on it, in my mind. I still have a lot of improvement to do.
“Growing up, there were always indications of it [becoming a top footballer], but, for me, it was just about playing every game. I wanted to win every game.
“It was never me thinking, “I’m put on the planet and I have to be a footballer,” it was more just every day going to train and wanting to win and wanting to be as competitive as possible.”
“I try to play as well as I can to help the team win stuff,” he added. “Any individual accolade will never come close to a team trophy, because they’re the ones that you grow up dreaming of winning. They’re the ones that mean the most. They’re the hardest ones to win.”
With three team titles to his name in the last year — and one more to come as soon as the league can get back in business — the 21-year old isn’t making it look all that hard, but we’ll take his word for it.
The whole interview is well worth a read, as Trent goes into his pride at being the Scouser in the team, as well as his feelings on Jürgen Klopp — hint: they’re good feelings Brent — and overall is just a nice little reminder of what a wonderful gang of lads we’re lucky enough to support right now, a sentiment that can get a little lost in the current chaotic climate.