There is mighty interesting interview in the Athletic today, where Trent Alexander-Arnold tells all to James Pearce – and we’d advise you to sign up and give it a read.
Plenty of stuff interests us, but perhaps the bit that piqued our attention most was a sit-down Trent had with Liverpool’s youth team managers to decide which position in the first-team he could target to make his own.
It wasn’t that Trent simply wanted to be a right-back – he actively saw which position would act best as a pathway and channeled his game accordingly.
“I wasn’t a natural winger, but I did it for the team. We spoke about how I could maybe get into the first-team set-up and what the best route was,” he told Pearce.
“We all decided that right-back was probably the clearest route. Being a midfielder was tough. I wasn’t playing for the under-23s so I was nowhere near the first-team. There wasn’t a right-back in the under-18s who was really pushing. In the first-team, Flanno (Jon Flanagan) was injured so we only had Clyney (Nathaniel Clyne) and Connor Randall. There weren’t too many players in front of me so we decided to go for that. Alex and Critch were both a huge help to me. The same goes for Mick Beale and Ian Barrigan.”
Randall was never Liverpool standard, despite getting minutes at various points – and Trent obviously saw himself as a potentially superior player to England international Clyne – which he of course now is.
We imagine there’s plenty of youngsters who have a very, ‘I am what I am,’ attitude when it comes to position – and if this works them – fine.
But you have to admire Trent’s willingness to cultivate himself with the sole purpose of representing the first-XI.
No, there’s an argument in many quarters that Trent is actually too good to be a right-back, due to his phenomenal passing range and that we must turn him into a central midfielder.
Perhaps one day when Ki-Jana Hoever is ready, this is something we can look at – but for now – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!