Trent Alexander-Arnold put in a very notable performance vs RB Leipzig. It’s one that should worry the Premier League.
Liverpool thrashed RB Leipzig 5-0 on Thursday in a particularly notable game. Of course, Darwin Nunez takes the headlines with a four-goal second half but there was a lot to talk about here.
Jurgen Klopp tried a new kind of tactic that we liked a lot – and haven’t seen in years – while Stefan Bajcetic got a game with the first-team as a holding midfielder. We also thought Roberto Firmino made a very early statement about his role in the side.
Another player worth talking about is Trent Alexander-Arnold, who started at right-back vs RB Leipzig. That’s not exactly a shock, of course, but the way he played the role was noteworthy.
Trent Alexander-Arnold vs RB Leipzig
Alexander-Arnold frequently like a midfielder here, drifting inside at will to have the midfielder on that side cover him. Now, that’s something we saw at times last season but the Scouser really lent into that against Leipzig.
So much so, in fact, that he was able to setup Nunez’s second goal from the centre-forward spot. Alexander-Arnold had pushed forward enough to play on the last defender and provided the pass for his new teammate.
We’ve written this summer how Liverpool could lean into attacking midfielders more often now that Nunez is up top. He doesn’t drop into that no.10 space as Firmino does and instead pushes defenders back. Midfielders need to push on and use that space themselves, then.
But what if Liverpool actually play it a little differently and push Alexander-Arnold into that space? The right-sided midfielder can cover him, as usual, and there will be even more space for him to attack.
That means getting one of the world’s most creative players into even more advanced positions – and making him incredibly difficult to track. How many wingers will follow Alexander-Arnold in between the defensive lines?
It’s something that will give Premier League rivals an awful lot to worry about. Stopping Alexander-Arnold is difficult enough, let alone when he’s capable of drifting into such advanced positions. Judging by his positioning against Leipzig, it’s a dilemma Klopp wants to provide.