Liverpool academy director Alex Inglethorpe has praised Trent Alexander-Arnold for an ‘inspirational’ speech he gave this summer.
Alexander-Arnold has new-found responsibility at Anfield, having taken on James Milner’s vice-captaincy role.
And in his latest column with liverpoolfc.com, Inglethorpe suggested that this is already something the 24-year-old is taking very seriously.
“I first came across Trent when he was 13 and it has been fantastic to witness his journey so far,” writes the coach. “What I can tell you is Trent came in to the Academy to speak to our first-year scholars during pre-season.
“I was blown away by the level of thought and the communication he was able to have with them. I found it inspirational and it was a very proud moment for me and also a humbling moment because I wouldn’t have seen the 16-year-old Trent being capable eight years later to be standing there and speaking the way that he did.
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“How he has evolved from a young person into a man is as impressive as to how he has evolved into a world-class footballer for Liverpool.”
What an absolute gem of a footballer, and a gem of a person. Well in, Trent.
Trent shows his leadership qualities
Although some have previously painted Trent as a bit of a sulker, he couldn’t have been a better choice for vice-captain this season.
The Scouser has shown time and again that not only is he a brilliant player, but that he’s also very much aware of his influence as a footballer.
Trent has already launched the ‘After Academy’ designed at supporting young players released by clubs before making it as professionals. He has often spoken on social issues and is clearly keen to make a difference.
To some, that won’t be important. The only difference they’ll want or care about Alexander-Arnold making is out on the pitch.
But as a leader at Liverpool, it’s important that the academy graduate gets involved in off-the-pitch duties as well.
Reds fans thought they had the perfect figurehead for that in recently departed skipper Jordan Henderson.
But with Henderson’s move to Saudi Arabia came a scepticism of the genuineness of his actions. For now, it’s really encouraging to see Trent picking up the mantle in the very best way.