Ever since he broke into Liverpool’s first-team, there has been plenty of talk about Trent Alexander-Arnold making a move into midfield.
The Scouser has been a revelation since making his debut in 2016. He has cemented himself as one of the very best right-backs in world football, despite being just 22.
While he is an elite full-back, many fans believe he should become a central midfielder later in his career.
There are clear similarities between him and Steven Gerrard in terms of ball-striking and passing abilities. It would make sense for Alexander-Arnold to become that star midfield name going forward.
If he does so, Liverpool would have to find someone to replace him at right-back.
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Here are some of the best options to do so.
England are going through a golden generation of right-backs at the moment.
Matty Cash or Max Aarons would be other suitable candidates for this role, but Tariq Lamptey could have the highest ceiling of the lot.
Injury issues aside, Lamptey has been sensational since signing for Brighton in January 2020.
He is averaging 3.2 tackles and interceptions per game, along with 0.9 key passes. However, it is in ball progression where he truly excels, with 2.4 dribbles completed per 90.
It will be difficult to get such a talented homegrown player from a Premier League side, but Tariq Lamptey should evolve into one of the planet’s best fullbacks and would be well worth the fee.
Next on the list is Brazilian right-back Emerson. The 22-year-old has been excellent for Real Betis this season.
He ranks in the 75th percentile or higher among fullbacks for numerous statistics, including assists, progressive carries, touches in the opposition box, tackles, interceptions and aerial duels won.
The issue is his contract situation.
He signed for Barcelona from Atletico Mineiro in 2019.
However, Real Betis were also part of the deal. They were allowed to take Emerson on a two-year loan in what was a unique piece of business.
Barca have since spent big money on Sergino Dest, so, essentially, they do not need Emerson and would be willing to let him leave.
Football Espana report that Betis could buy him for around £5m, but other clubs could get him for £25m if he decided against staying in Andalusia.
Emerson has been one of the best right-backs in Europe this season and is only going to get better.
It would be much cheaper for Liverpool to sign him and move Alexander-Arnold into midfield than it would to sign a world-class midfield leader.
The final name on our list is a player already at the club.
Neco Williams was deemed capable of being Alexander-Arnold’s understudy for this season by Jurgen Klopp and his staff. That alone is proof that they rate him highly.
He has only played five league matches this season, but that number would likely be higher had the club not lost their three senior centre-backs.
Not having the likes of Virgil van Dijk in the backline meant that Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson have had to play practically every game in order to keep some seniority in defence.
Williams made a very promising start to his Liverpool career but has since tailed off somewhat. However, Klopp and co. clearly rate him highly and believe that he has a big future in the game.
His age means that he simply is not ready to be a Premier League regular just yet, but it is likely that he will be after a few more seasons.
So the best bet may be to keep Alexander-Arnold there for now and let him move once Williams is ready to step up.