Fabinho has claimed that Trent Alexander-Arnold’s passing from midfield can really help Liverpool.
Trent has moved into a new hybrid midfield-right-back role over the last couple of weeks, with excellent results. His first 90 minutes in the position brought two assists on Monday night, as Liverpool ran riot against Leeds United.
And looking back on the 24-year-old’s performance in that game for liverpoolfc.com, Fabinho praised his teammate’s quality on the ball.
“Trent is somebody really good on the ball, with his quality of pass and finding players in behind. We can really use this,” said the Brazilian. “In this position, of course he will have less time to think but I think he’s a little bit used to being in this position. Even when he played right-back, he likes to drop a little bit and go to the middle. We can really use his quality of pass.
“In the last game, he gave two assists and was really good – not just with his passing but his reaction was good as well. I think in the Academy he played as a midfielder, so he knows a little bit about this role and it was not hard for him.”
Trent steals the headlines
A lot has been said about Alexander-Arnold’s change of position over the last two games. To be fair, a lot has been said about the Scouser all season, he’s just one of those players.
But through all the noise, one thing remains exceedingly true: Liverpool’s No.66 is one of the potential game-changers the Reds have in their squad. As Fabinho points out, his passing is simply on another level.
From right-back, Trent has made an art of affecting the game high up the pitch. Arguably no right-back in football history has had the same consistent output in forward areas.
Of late though, the drawbacks of having him in defensive areas have started to outweigh those positives. It has become a persistent problem. As a result, Jurgen Klopp has had to find a new way to accentuate Alexander-Arnold’s gifts.
No doubt taking inspiration from Pep Guardiola’s use of John Stones lately, Klopp looks like he may have found the answer. Trent can have even more influence from the middle of the pitch, which in turn pens opponents in and can even therefore act as a defensive tactic.
In the long-term though, adjusting Trent’s role won’t make him more reliable as a defender. You could even argue that it may make him worse, as he’s constantly deliberately vacating his defensive position. So, what does Klopp decide is the best for his talismanic right-back moving forward? It’s a fascinating question that will shape Liverpool’s tactical future. For now though, just give Trent that ball and watch him work his magic.