Harry Kane and Jack Grealish were impressed with Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold during England training yesterday.
As seen on a video from the official England Twitter page, the pair lauded the Liverpool right-back for his work in setting up a goal.
After a shout of ‘next goal wins’ Mason Mount tries to take Trent on. The 23-year-old isn’t to be passed though, he bites into the tackle, expertly winning the ball from the Chelsea man.
Practically all in one movement, Alexander-Arnold then plays a lovely outside-of-the-foot ball to Grealish. The Manchester City forward whips in a cross for Kane to head home.
As the winning England players celebrate, both Kane and Grealish acknowledged the Liverpool player’s role in the goal.
“Well done Trent,” says Grealish. “Brilliant, Trent,” agrees Kane.
If this is the Alexander-Arnold we’re going to expect after missing out on the Champions League and Premier League, well, lucky us.
Trent can defend
The well-worn trope that follows Liverpool’s wonderfully gifted right-back around is that he ‘can’t defend.’
In that respect, Alexander-Arnold provided further fuel to the fire in the Champions League final. As Vinicius Junior snuck in behind him to score the winning goal, the Scouser didn’t appear to even know he was there.
This can happen. It isn’t necessarily a mistake or a lapse in judgement or concentration. Sometimes your defensive shape is wrong and the attacking team gets lucky.
Federico Valverde himself has since admitted that his inch-perfect ball for Vinicius was in fact a shot. With that kind of luck going for the other team, sometimes there isn’t much you can do.
It’s a shame too, because that moment aside, Alexander-Arnold was excellent defensively all night. Between he and Ibrahima Konate they shackled Vinicius Junior to render him virtually redundant.
In the end it was the Brazilian who had the final say though, and that shouldn’t be discounted. But had the forward players done their job and put the ball past Thibaut Courtois, Liverpool would surely have won.
Ifs, buts and maybes I suppose. It looks to have put the fire in Trent’s belly though. As fiercely competitive as he is, he’ll be desperate to avenge the heartbreak of the final week of the season.