Liverpool: Trent Alexander-Arnold hits 150 Premier League games as he does best in world event
‘Insane’ was the word used by Jurgen Klopp. Roy Keane went for “brilliant” among other things when he ran the rule over him. Others have their own choice superlatives when it comes to Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Traveling to a raucous Anfield on Thursday night for his 150th Premier League appearance, the 23-year-old can stand tall to argue that, right now, he is the best right-back.
Even historically, no one in his position has performed better in his first 150 Premier League games than Alexander-Arnold.
John Arne Riise, formerly of Liverpool, Ian Harte and Dan Petrescu are defenders who have scored more goals than Alexander-Arnold’s 10 in 150 games, but add his 43 assists and he flies high as a No.1 .
Trent Alexander-Arnold made his 150th Premier League appearance for Liverpool this week
Jurgen Klopp (middle) says his star full-back has ‘crazy’ ability as he continues to improve
TRENT ALEXANDER-ARNOLD’S 150 MATCHES IN NUMBERS
300 opportunities created
279 precise crosses
58 great opportunities created
50 clean sheets
Statistics via Squawka
“I don’t know anyone who looks like Trent. Who is a right-back and is it decisive and influential and all that kind of stuff,’ manager Jurgen Klopp said last month.
“I really don’t always like it when they mention his defense, ‘defensively he’s not that good, but he’s better offensively’.
‘Trent’s package is crazy.
“It’s not that he delivers every day, there are still departments where he can improve and needs to improve and we’re going to work on that and I won’t stop telling him, but the package is really interesting, I would say.”
I don’t know what that means in the story. Still 15 years or whatever to play, create, score, learn and improve, but the last five years have been a good career start, I would say.
The numbers from his 150 league appearances, dating back to his first-team debut in 2016 as a substitute against Middlesbrough, are remarkable.
Alexander-Arnold created 300 chances for his teammates and delivered 279 accurate crosses from that right side.
While stats are important, it’s worth mentioning that Alexander-Arnold plays winning football, winning 105 out of those 150 games.
And the narrative that he is a liability struggles to hold up given that he managed 50 clean sheets in the same period.
Also add that in 150 league appearances he was only guilty of two errors leading to a goal.
‘[He’s] absolutely brilliant,’ a hard-to-please Roy Keane told Sky Sports before Liverpool played Crystal Palace last month.
‘What a player. Fantastic. The stats are absolutely brilliant, brilliant player, local boy bet he can’t believe his luck. [The] chances he creates, the assists – unbelievable.
The right-back (top) was part of 105 wins from 150 games and played a crucial role
His linking play with his teammates is brilliant, having created 300 chances in 150 games
‘[He] looks like a good athlete, a decent lad, a brilliant player and we’re all excited about attacking players but getting excited about a full-back is how the game has changed over the last few years . Full-backs are so important.
“The assists and the positions he puts himself in, he’s brave and has a lot of guts – what a brilliant player.”
One of the greatest compliments anyone can give Alexander-Arnold is that nothing seems to faze him.
Here is a player who started a Champions League final at the age of 19.
He won it a year later and won a Premier League winner‘s medal a year later. Oh, and to top it off, he completely revolutionized the expectations of a modern full-back with his winger on the other side, Andrew Robertson.
What scares rivals Liverpool is that Alexander-Arnold continues to improve.
His role has changed somewhat this season as he is often seen drifting into the midfield pocket to weigh up his options, think of an NFL quarterback, given that it’s Super Bowl week.
|John Arne Riise||150||20||20||40|
In his 150 league appearances he has had more goals and more assists than any defender in history.
Having the license to break position and launch Liverpool in attack is invaluable and it’s no surprise that he has already surpassed (10) last season’s assist return (7) in the league.
His highest league assist tally for Liverpool came in 2019-20 when he managed 13 with four goals. In the middle of February this season and that figure rises to 10 and two.
Everything was said that in the first 45 minutes against Leicester, Alexander-Arnold had created three chances.
For some perspective, the other 10 Liverpool players had managed to create two and the entire Leicester squad had also only managed two.
“He’s different from all backs,” said former Liverpool striker Michael Owen. BT Sports. “He could play any position there, he’s so talented.”
One of the things that makes Alexander-Arnold so special is that his delivery is, more often than not, perfect, especially from set pieces.
Liverpool are benefiting massively from their set-piece ability, with 43 league assists to their name
|Stig Inge Bjornebye||150||26|
It’s impossible to forget his quick-wittedness from the corner in that Champions League draw with Barcelona at Anfield which gave Divock Origi an enviable tap-in.
And it’s no surprise that Liverpool have scored the most goals from set pieces in the Premier League this season, edging out Chelsea.
Klopp’s side have scored 12 goals from set pieces this season – two more than Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea.
There was Alexander-Arnold’s free-kick which was converted by Sadio Mane to kick off an eventual 4-0 win over Arsenal in November or the corner he whipped to send Virgil van Dijk heading for a 4-0 win. -0 at Southampton.
Liverpool have had their fair share of well-made local lads – mainly Steven Gerrard and Robbie Fowler – but Alexander-Arnold has already achieved greatness.
And at the rate he’s going, arguing against him as the best right-back in the world can become a losing battle.
Klopp (right) also has the ability to change his role, urging him to come into midfield to create