Trent Alexander-Arnold didn’t have a good game as Liverpool slumped to defeat against Atletico Madrid. It was a reminder of the 21-year-old’s place.
Alexander-Arnold is, in all likelihood, the best right-back in the world. He’s a European champion, after all, part of a side dominating the Premier League, and setting records.
So make no mistake – no one at Liverpool would swap him for any other right-back on the planet. And because of that, it’s easy to forget just who he is. But we certainly got a reminder of it against Atletico.
Alexander-Arnold struggled against the Spaniards. His crossing was the worst it has been for a very long time. He also struggled to work space against Atletico’s 4-4-2.
Doubling up on him, they negated Alexander-Arnold as a threat for the most part. That really hurt Liverpool, which is testament to his importance, but the right-back just couldn’t cope.
And that shouldn’t be particularly surprising as Alexander-Arnold is still only 21. We forget that, really, given his incredible form over the last few years.
But he’s still very much a young player learning the game. As a result, he will run into situations that trouble him and have games where things don’t click.
The defeat against Atletico was one of those for Alexander-Arnold. He lacked the know-how of an experienced player and it seemed to affect him.
He will learn it all, of course. But it’s game like this where you remember that he is still a young player learning the game at the highest level.
Once he does figure it out, he’ll be even better than he is now. And as we said, he’s already the best around.