Liverpool academy director Alex Ingelthorpe says Trent Alexander-Arnold has had a great impact on the Reds’ youth teams since he broke into Jurgen Klopp’s first-team set up a couple of seasons ago.
Inglethorpe says that when he first broke through and was still making appearances at the Academy, young Reds players would rather meet Mo Salah – but that’s no longer the case.
Over the course of the last couple of years, Alexander-Arnold has become the best right-back in the world, won the Champions League and made his international debut as well, playing at the World Cup in Russia in 2018.
Speaking with LiverpoolFC.com, Inglethorpe said: “The thing I found interesting with Trent is that when he first broke into the team and he came back to the Academy, the young players were really excited to see him, but you kind of feel they are hoping it’s Mo Salah.
“Trent has helped us out with the signings of the new U8s the last few years. He walked into the room [the day after the 4-0 win over Barcelona at Anfield] and you could see and feel there was a real buzz among the players and they wouldn’t have wanted anyone else there.
“If they could have picked any player they would have picked Trent. I think that’s a mark of how far he has come in terms of the thinking of the supporters and the young players here.”
Alexander-Arnold still has a lot of development to do which will make the coming seasons incredibly exciting.
Just this week, he was named, rather bizarrely, as an alternative for Barcelona should they fail to re-sign Neymar this summer, but it just goes to show the level he has reached that his name is being linked, even if it’s never going to happen.
Having already won the Champions League with his boyhood club, the Premier League is the next target. The quest to bring that home this season continues at Burnley on Saturday evening.