He’s been Liverpool’s foremost supply of creativity for a while, however 2021/22 was the season Trent Alexander-Arnold took his recreation to new ranges.
It’s straightforward to overlook how younger Liverpool’s No. 66 nonetheless is, such is his affect on Jurgen Klopp‘s group.
On the age of 23, Alexander-Arnold has now received each single main trophy accessible to him together with his boyhood membership, after finishing his assortment with the League Cup and FA Cup final season.
Trent Alexander-Arnold, 2021/22
Began: 47 (All competitions)
On as an alternative: 0
Unused sub: 5
Total Season Ranking: 9.12
This was Alexander-Arnold’s greatest season but and the numbers again it up.
It solely took him till early March to cross his earlier season-best assists file of 15 throughout all competitions. He’d go on to register 4 extra earlier than the top of the marketing campaign. All from right-back.
He’ll need to enhance on his objective tally, particularly as he takes the overwhelming majority of Liverpool’s free kicks, however the targets he lays on for others greater than make up for that.
There was additionally a slight tweak to his place to permit him to have an effect on video games from central areas extra usually.
“In fact he’s nonetheless within the right-back place to defend particularly, then he’s a proper winger, then he’s an eight, a six, a playmaker,” Klopp mentioned of his No. 66 in December.
Alexander-Arnold’s affect on this group is stronger than ever. Some would possibly argue that he has turn into Liverpool’s most vital determine.
Gamers with the standard of Alisson, Virgil van Dijk and Salah will at all times be missed once they’re not within the group, however they’ll at the least get replaced by gamers with comparable attributes.
The identical can’t be mentioned when Alexander-Arnold is lacking. When he doesn’t play, Liverpool lose their foremost inventive outlet, with Joe Gomez, Neco Williams and even James Milner having sizeable sneakers to fill.
He’s a really distinctive expertise and there’s no like-for-like alternative.
That’s one thing Liverpool have regarded to deal with this summer season, with the imminent arrival of Calvin Ramsay.
Alexander-Arnold’s significance to this group can’t be understated.
The ‘can’t defend’ delusion
“If anyone says to me Trent can’t defend, they need to come to me, I’ll knock them down. Truthfully, I can’t hear that anymore. I don’t know what the boy has to do!”
That was Klopp after Alexander-Arnold stored the very energetic Gabriel Martinelli quiet when the Reds beat Arsenal to achieve the Carabao Cup remaining in January.
It was simply certainly one of quite a few astute defensive shows from Alexander-Arnold in 2021/22. Because of this, these lazy claims that he’s not a superb defender now barely have a leg to face on.
And Liverpool stored 32 clear sheets all through the season, Alexander-Arnold was on the pitch for 25 of these.
There’s an acceptance that Liverpool’s model of play brings its personal dangers, particularly for Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson. That was evident within the Champions League remaining, when Actual Madrid broke away and Vinicius Jr scored the winner on Alexander-Arnold’s aspect of the pitch.
Most of the time, although, the superior positions he takes up will result in good issues for Liverpool. It has turn into a key part of this group.
Not England’s, although. “Why make the perfect right-back on this planet a midfielder?” was Klopp’s very legitimate query after Gareth Southgate deployed Alexander-Arnold in midfield in a World Cup qualifier towards Andorra in September.
“I don’t know anyone who’s like Trent. Who’s a right-back and is that decisive and influential and all these form of issues,” Klopp added after that victory on the Emirates in January.
“I actually don’t like at all times once they point out his defending, ‘defensively he’s not that good, however he’s offensively higher’.
“The bundle of Trent is insane.”
A brand new problem subsequent season?
Klopp has by no means actually had the luxurious of with the ability to relaxation and rotate Alexander-Arnold.
Williams has emerged as Liverpool’s second-choice right-back lately, however not one which has been relied upon on the most important phases. After a profitable mortgage spell at Fulham, within the second half of final season, he’s anticipated to maneuver on looking for common video games this summer season.
The likes of Milner and Gomez have additionally been used as makeshift right-backs, however the signing of Ramsay ought to assist ease Alexander-Arnold’s workload subsequent season after exceeding 40 membership video games in every of his final 4 campaigns.
It’s believed the membership view the younger Scotsman as a participant who will have the ability to function in quite a few positions on the precise aspect of the pitch, and had been drawn to his passing vary and technical capacity.
But it surely’s having one other good right-back choice that can have actually appealed to Klopp. Ramsay is an attacking full-back who, at simply 18 years of age, registered 9 assists in all competitions final season, and is clearly a participant Liverpool see thriving of their atmosphere.
You solely must look to the other aspect of the defence to see why having two stable full-back choices will be helpful. After a tough first season for causes out of his management, Kostas Tsimikas offered glorious back-up to Robertson in 2021/22.
Klopp has no qualms utilizing Tsimikas in a few of Liverpool’s greatest matches and might be hoping a signing like Ramsay will give him extra alternatives to take his No. 66 out of the limelight when vital.
Ramsay may be very unlikely to threaten Alexander-Arnold’s standing as first-choice right-back, although. The West Derby-born full-back is now not a boy on this group and, having received all there’s to win for Liverpool, ought to now be thought of certainly one of Klopp’s extra skilled performers.
The Scouser in our group is just getting higher.
Finest second: Profitable the FA Cup and finishing his assortment of all six main trophies with Liverpool.
Worst second: Watching Vinicius Jr rating the profitable objective within the Champions League remaining on his aspect of the pitch.
Function subsequent season: Proceed to enhance his recreation amid the chance of recent competitors from a brand new arrival at right-back.