Jurgen Klopp has given his right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold a glowing compliment following an interview with BBC Sport.
The FIFA Coach of the Year handed the academy graduate his opportunity to make it at the top and he hasn’t looked back since. Liverpool’s No.66 has emerged as one of the best full-backs in world football and has broken numerous records along the way.
Alexander-Arnold, 21, became the youngest ever player to start in two consecutive Champions League finals. The England international recently registered his 20th assist of the season for 2019 – no other Premier League player has more.
After handing the youngster his debut back in September 2016, even Klopp has admitted his surprise to the gargantuan rise he has seen in Alexander-Arnold’s game.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with BBC Radio 5 Live Klopp was asked what his biggest surprise was since taking charge at Liverpool, he said: “I have known Trent Alexander-Arnold since he was 17 years old.
“He was a big talent but we were not sure he could do it physically.
“Now he is a machine – so he is a big surprise.”
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Alexander-Arnold has completely redefined what it means to be a modern full-back. He is now tasked with being Liverpool’s most creative source on the pitch.
The youngster’s passing range alone draws similar comparisons to arguably the club’s best-ever player Steven Gerrard. Alexander-Arnold is certainly the best player to make the leap from the academy to the first team since the former Reds skipper made his debut back in 1998.
The homegrown full-back is also one game away from being crowned a world champion. Alexander-Arnold provided the crucial assist to help set up Roberto Firmino in the 91st minute against Monterrey to set up a FIFA Club World Cup final against Flamengo.
Liverpool have the opportunity to claim a third trophy since June as they look to add the only trophy that currently eludes them still in club football.