Trent Alexander-Arnold has been compared to Germany and Bayern Munich great Philipp Lahm by one of our favourite journalists, Michael Cox.
Cox has rejected the lazy comparisons to Cafu and explained why tactically and stylistically, Trent has more similarities with Lahm.
“If Alexander-Arnold is going to be compared to a legendary right-back, though, then it’s not Cafu but instead Philipp Lahm,” he writes for ESPN. “The German World Cup-winning captain was renowned as a right-back, but he was equally comfortable playing on the opposite flank, and was later converted into a central midfielder by Pep Guardiola, who believed the optimum approach was to put the most intelligent, gifted players in the middle. Lahm, as it happens, had played central midfield in Bayern’s youth sides, and only shifted right because there were doubts about his level of physicality.
“Alexander-Arnold might embark upon a similar experience. He was also a midfielder when rising through the youth ranks — in truth, almost every top-class full-back was converted from a more attacking position at some stage — and became a right-back only a couple of years ago, essentially, because he realised that’s where opportunities would present themselves in the first team. The more he plays right-back, though, the more it appears he belongs in a different position.”
For now, Trent should continue to develop at right-back, as it’s a key position in Jurgen Klopp’s system that benefits hugely from his pace and ability on the ball.
Our fullbacks are not defensive players by any means and in fact are often our most advanced attackers, getting beyond the opposition backline towards the byline.
As a result, although we agree Trent has the potential to become a midfielder in the future, we’re happy with him at right-back.
Our system requires fantastic players in both the right and left-back spots – and with Andy Robertson on the other side – we’re well covered right now.