Isaac Mabaya is managing to follow in the footsteps of Trent Alexander-Arnold at Liverpool. He’s just made a fantastic impression.
Isaac Mabaya didn’t have much of a reputation before this pre-season. Now he looks like one of the most interesting talents at Liverpool – a 17-year-old who apparently lacks any fear.
Mabaya has played with some regularity for Liverpool’s first-team across the summer, including an hour against RB Salzburg this week. He impressed, too, as the teenager consistently got down the right flank to threaten.
He admits he’s thoroughly enjoying himself, too.
“Honestly, I loved it,” he said, per Liverpoolfc.com. “I always love stepping out on the pitch for Liverpool, so I just want to keep getting my opportunities to do that [and] hopefully [I will] in the future.
“It’s been brilliant playing and training with some of the best players in the world. There’s a lot to learn from all the players.”
Isaac Mabaya follows Trent Alexander-Arnold
Mabaya is at best Liverpool’s third-choice natural right-back. He’s not even the third-choice right-back, though, given Joe Gomez and James Milner can both move there if need be. As a natural, however, only Trent Alexander-Arnold and Calvin Ramsay stand above him.
But Mabaya has done what Alexander-Arnold managed to do five years ago. He’s taken advantage of injuries – particularly to Ramsay – in order to get into the side and make an impression. Jurgen Klopp needed someone to fill in at right-back and the teenager did just that.
It’s how Alexander-Arnold got his run in the side. Back in the summer of 2017, both Nathaniel Clyne and Gomez were out injured, giving the Scouser his chance. He took it with everything he had and now stands as arguably the best in the world.
Funnily enough, Curtis Jones also got his initial first-team exposure as a right-back in pre-season. He was merely doing a job where Liverpool needed him but it was enough. Now he’s a senior player with a bright future.
Mabaya, then, is heading down the right path. He’s made his impression, taken his opportunity and is firmly on the radar. Hopefully, that means more games are in his future.