You’d think that Liverpool right back Trent Alexander-Arnold would be a universally appreciated player. He is arguably the best in the world at his position, with many Kopites vocally insisting that he is the No. 1 man. And yet Gareth Southgate is poised to leave him out of the England squad for the European Championships.
Instead of dwelling what would surely be a massive error on the part of the England manager, let us instead appreciate what Alexander-Arnold is doing for Liverpool in the 2020-2021 Premier League season, which has been an incredibly difficult one.
Alexander-Arnold is doing whatever he can to make sure the Reds finish in the top four. In the last two wins over Manchester United and West Brom, Alexander-Arnold has provided clutch assists. He provided the world-class service from a corner, which Alisson ably headed to help the Reds survive with a 2-1 win over the Baggies.
And in each of his last three matches, per WhoScored.com, the talented 22-year-old has recorded five key passes. That is excellence in chance-creation right there, and TAA, as per usual, is creating those chances in more than just one way.
Trent Alexander-Arnold is making a difference for Liverpool in the Premier League’s top-four race
All season long, Alexander-Arnold has been the Reds’ main source of chance-creation. He averages 2.1 key passes per game in the Premier League, which is a stunning number for a right back. And while his defense gets picked apart by pundits and can even be spotty in the wrong matchup, he has, by and large, been competent in defense.
Per WhoScored.com, Alexander-Arnold is averaging 1.5 tackles per game and 1.3 interceptions per game. He rarely concedes fouls, and he has only been dribbled past 0.6 times per match, which is a solid number for a right back who contributes so much to the team offensively.
The way TAA has turned up his performances in the top-four race for Liverpool is nothing short of inspirational. Like Alisson, Roberto Firmino, and Mohamed Salah, Alexander-Arnold is part of a core group of world-class players who are coming up clutch for the Reds when the club needs them the most.
So let’s appreciate Alexander-Arnold, especially for what he is than for what people like Southgate say he isn’t. His gifts on the pitch are rare, and they make the difference for Liverpool. And if you get too caught up in the areas of his game that could still use work, you run the risk of exaggerating them, neglecting to praise those gifts sufficiently, and, worse yet, outright forgetting that the man is defining greatness at his position at the age of 22. How many right backs can say that?
Probably none. Alexander-Arnold is one-of-a-kind, and he will continue to make a difference in Liverpool’s final must-win matchups of the campaign against Burnley and Crystal Palace.