Liverpool supporters have been pretty satisfied in recent times after seeing their side maintain their unbeaten start to the Premier League season at the weekend.
Jurgen Klopp’s men went into their encounter with champions Manchester City having won six and drawn the other of their opening seven league games, sitting behind Pep Guardiola’s side in the table only on goal difference. And that is where they remain after a relatively uneventful 0-0 draw between the two teams at Anfield on Sunday, thus leaving the Reds winless in their last four matches in all competitions heading into the season’s second international break.
Nonetheless, there have been many satisfied Liverpudlians up and down the country in recent times, several of whom are likely to be intrigued by a recent interview conducted by The Independent’s Jonathan Liew with defender Trent Alexander-Arnold, in which the respected journalist introduces the piece by stating that the defender ‘remains wise beyond his years’.
And given the 20-year-old’s meteoric rise in the last 12 months or so, which has seen him become a feature for both club and country, it’s hard to argue with Liew’s verdict on the Liverpool right back.
Ultimately, very few would have been aware of Alexander-Arnold’s capabilities little over 12 months ago, what with the 20-year-old on the peripheries of the Reds first team, but finding fellow right back Nathaniel Clyne difficult to dispose of in Klopp’s starting eleven.
Yet an injury to the former Southampton defender during pre-season in 2017 opened the door for both Alexander-Arnold and indeed Joe Gomez to stake their claim for regular football, and both certainly took their chances with both hands.
Gomez shone greatly down the right-hand-side but it was the younger Alexander-Arnold who starred in that role in the second half of last season, appearing in 12 of their 17 Premier league matches in the New Year, as well as featuring in all but three of their Champions League games en route to the showpiece.
And in keeping Leroy Sane quiet in one of the best displays from a right back against Manchester City in the quarter-finals of Europe’s elite competition, Alexander-Arnold announced himself as someone not only for the future of Liverpool, but also the present.
Yet such has been the level of maturity shown by the Englishman in the last 12 months or so, it is very easy to forget that he has only just turned 20 and was very much out of the spotlight until this time last year – he appears to have taken it all in his stride very admirably indeed.
But it’s not just how he has dealt with everything off the pitch that underlines this maturity, and thus astuteness ‘beyond his years’, it’s also how wise he has been on the pitch which has impressed so many – he has shown all the capabilities needed to be a very high-quality right back at Premier League level.
Be it making intelligent runs in attack or indeed taking up clever positions and thus showing awareness in defence, the 20-year-old appears to have it all despite his young age – that, alongside his maturity off the field, means that Liew is absolutely spot on to deem the defender ‘wise beyond his years’.
Liverpool fans… what do you think? Let us know!
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