It took Lucas Leiva years to earn any recognition at Anfield.
With his early seasons blighted by mixed form and obviously being well short of Javier Mascherano, Xabi Alonso and Steven Gerrard, many had written him off as just not up to it. That all changed in 2010/11 and there was an 18 month period where he was genuinely the Reds’ best player.
Trent Alexander-Arnold has had no such issues, rising and rising with basically zero doubters. Nonetheless, Lucas certainly appreciates what the right back is achieving, and has been a fan for a long time.
“Well, I remember a few moments of Trent”, the official Liverpool website report the Brazilian as saying. “I remember he came with us to play in a friendly game and I think he was 16. He was very shy and Brendan [Rodgers] was in charge.
“I remember he wasn’t comfortable but we could see he was at a different level, I would say, for his age, his quality on the ball.
“So after he started to train with us in the first team he waited patiently, but we were sure that he would be a Liverpool player and he would be one of the best players in the world.
“I was sure because you just could see on a daily basis how many qualities he had, his crosses and his passing. He is just a complete full-back.”
“Of course, he still has to improve a lot but he’s already done amazing seasons.
“I think the last two seasons he has been a star player. Trent is a good boy, he’s a Liverpool boy and we can see how much he enjoys playing for Liverpool.
“I always try to help the young players – I think it’s important to make them feel comfortable and after it’s up to them to learn and improve.”
No doubt he’s going in the right direction. He has Lucas’ attitude with far more talent. That’s a nice mix to have.