Trent Alexander-Arnold: The story so far

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Trent Alexander-Arnold is quickly becoming one of the most talked about young talents in World football, and the 20-year old Liverpudlian to his own admission, is “just a normal lad from Liverpool, whose dream has just come true”.

Alexander-Arnold is passionate, enthusiastic and extremely talented, that’s clear to see. But, the 20-year olds journey to the top is most certainly interesting and inspiring. Trent’s the perfect advert for aspiring youngsters who are in hope of making it in the professional game.

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The mural art work on a house in Sybil Road, Anfield, Liverpool, (pictured above) celebrating local player Trent Alexander-Arnold prior to the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Norwich City at Anfield on August 9, 2019 in Liverpool.

The Liverpool-born ace has so much to offer than just his qualities on the pitch. Alexander-Arnold is a very well-spoken young man and despite the fame, fortune and everything that goes with it, the youngster always comes across as being very grounded during his rise through the ranks at Anfield.

Speaking of his generosity, Trent volunteers as an ambassador for the Liverpool-based charity ‘An Hour for Others’, which seeks to provide underprivileged members of the community with anything from food hampers to cooking and science lessons.

He’s supported the charity since being introduced to it by his mother whilst in his mid-teens. During Trent’s time progressing through the academy, both him and team-mate Kris Owens pledged to support the charity if either of them ‘made it’ as professional footballers.

But, Alexander-Arnold’s generosity doesn’t stop there. In March 2019, the 20-year old signed a lucrative boot deal with Under Armour, and he initiated plans to use the funds from that sponsorship to construct new pitches for the community in and around Liverpool.

The Liverpool full-back loves mingling with supporters, and giving something back to the community, as he himself grew up just like any other ordinary young boy. Playing football in the street, hanging out with friends, so where did it all start for Trent Alexander-Arnold?

LIFE AWAY FROM FOOTBALL

Away the pitch, Alexander-Arnold is an avid chess player, having been introduced to the game by his father as a young lad, and in 2018 he played an invitational match against World champion chess player, Magnus Carlsen.

In terms of football in the Alexander-Arnold family through the generations, Trent’s uncle, John Alexander played for Millwall and Reading, and also was the former club secretary at Manchester United.

Trent’s maternal grandmother, Doreen was once in a relationship with former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson, before moving to New York city where she later married. Alexander-Arnold was eligible to play for the United States prior to making his England debut.

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Trent has two brothers (pictured above), Tyler who acts as his agent, and Marcel who’s three years younger. The 20-year old ace was born in West-Derby, Liverpool, where he attended St Matthews Catholic Primary School. Aged just six years-old, Trent’s local club Liverpool hosted a community summer camp, to which his school received invitations to.

Alexander-Arnold was selected to attend the summer camp. During the event, Liverpool FC’s academy coach, Ian Barrigan was impressed with Trent’s footballing ability and temperament as he was offered the chance to join the clubs academy.

Alexander-Arnold captained the club as the progressed through the ranks as a young boy. [The Players’ Tribune]

After joining the academy, Trent began training 2-3 times per week as he progressed through the ranks. As Trent’s progression and development continued to rise, he went on to captain the club at under-16 and under-18 levels under coach, Pepijn Ljinders.

Alexander-Arnold excelled through his time at the Liverpool FC academy, and in 2015, he was singled out by former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, who tipped Trent to have a bright future at the club in his autobiography.

In the run-up to the 2015/16 campaign, Alexander-Arnold was selected in the first-team squad for the very first time by Brendan Rodgers for the Reds’ final pre-season fixture against Swindon Town, in which he helped Liverpool on their way to a 2-1 victory.

BREAKING INTO THE FIRST TEAM

Having taken part in Liverpool’s pre-season tour of the United States, Alexander-Arnold made his competitive first-team debut on 25 October 2016, starting in a 2-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur in the fourth round of the EFL Cup.

Once again, former club captain and talisman Steven Gerrard backed Alexander-Arnold “to become a top professional” after his debut performance, and as a result, Trent was included in the EFL’s ‘Team of the Round’ alongside team-mate Daniel Sturridge.

On 8 November, the club announced that Alexander-Arnold had put pen-to-paper on a new long-term contract at the football club. Trent featured in Liverpool’s very next EFL Cup fixture later that month, as he registered his very first assist for the club at senior level as he set up striker Divock Origi for the opening goal during a 2-0 victory over Leeds United.

Alexander-Arnold was also named Man-of-the-Match during the victory, and as a reward for those impressive performances, Trent handed his Premier League debut on 14 December, coming off the bench during a 3-0 victory over Middlesbrough.

In the following January, Alexander-Arnold made his full Premier League debut, during a 1-1 draw with Manchester United. In May 2017, Alexander-Arnold was named Liverpool’s ‘Young Player of the Season’, and was also nominated for the ‘Premier League 2’ Player of the Season award. Trent’s debut season resulted in 12 first-team appearances across all competitions.

Alexander-Arnold’s rapid development caught the eye of all those involved at the club. [Liverpool Online]

in the build-up to the 2017/18 campaign, first-choice right-back, Nathaniel Clyne suffered quite a serious back injury which resulted a lengthy lay-off, that offered Alexander-Arnold the opportunity to step in, and rotate with Joe Gomez during the early phases of the campaign.

On 15 August, Trent grabbed his first goal for the club at senior level as he scored from a free-kick during Liverpool’s 2-1 win over Hoffenheim in the UEFA Champions League play-offs. In doing so, Trent became just the third youngest player to score on a European debut for the club, joining Michael Owen and David Fairclough in the history books.

During the group stages of the competition, Alexander-Arnold found the net once more during Liverpool’s emphatic 7-0 win over Maribor in which was the joint-largest away victory in the history of the competition, and the largest away win by an English club.

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On Boxing Day 2017, Trent bagged his first Premier League goal for the club, netting in a 5-0 win over Swansea City at Anfield. The following April, Alexander-Arnold became the youngest English player to start in a UEFA Champions League Quarter-Final as he put in an impressive display during Liverpool’s 3-0 victory over Manchester City.

His heroic performance saw him named Man-of-the-Match and earned him praise from the media, pundits and supporters for the way that he handled City winger Leroy Sané. In the second-leg, Alexander-Arnold was once again impressive during Liverpool’s convincing 2-1 victory as Liverpool advanced to the Semi-Finals of the competition for the first time in ten years.

In May 2018, Alexander-Arnold was once again named Liverpool’s ‘Young Player of the Year’ for the second consecutive year. Just weeks later, Alexander-Arnold was faced with the prospect of playing in his first-ever UEFA Champions League final, as he was tasked with the role of marking Cristiano Ronaldo, Trent performed admirably, despite Liverpool’s 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid.

The defeat was ‘tough to take’ for Alexander-Arnold and the rest of the squad, but the signs were very positive. Following the conclusion of the 2017/18 campaign, Trent was nominated for the ‘Golden Boy’ award, but he came runner-up to Ajax’s Matthijs de Lijt.

FIRST TEAM REGULAR | CHAMPIONS LEAGUE JOY

As Trent quickly transformed into a first-team regular, he soon asserted his dominance in terms of securing a permanent place at right-back, he quickly racked up 50 appearances for Liverpool after starting in a 2-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur.

On 27 February 2019, Alexander-Arnold once again etched his name into the history books as he became the youngest player (20 years and 143 days) to record three assists in a single Premier League fixture as he set up Sadio Mane twice and Virgil Van Dijk in Liverpool’s 5-0 win over Watford at Anfield.

In a record-breaking start to life in a Liverpool shirt, Alexander-Arnold also became the fifth-youngest player reach 50 appearances for the club behind Michael Owen, Raheem Sterling, Robbie Fowler and Steven Gerrard. In terms of accolades, Trent was nominated for for the PFA’s ‘Young Player of the Year’ which was won by Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling.

Trent was also included in the PFA’s ‘Team of the Year’ alongside Liverpool team-mates Virgil Van Dijk, Sadio Mané and Andrew Robertson. In May, during a hard-fought 3-2 victory over Newcastle United, Alexander-Arnold equalled the Premier League record for the most assists by a defender in a single season [11].

Later on that month, against all odds, Liverpool managed to heroically overturn a 3-0 deficit to secure a 4-3 victory to reach the UEFA Champions League final for a second consecutive year. Alexander-Arnold produced a sensational display as he recorded two assists, including an intelligent, instinctive corner as he picked out Divock Origi for what proved to be the match-winner in an incredible evening at Anfield.

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On the final day of the 2018/19 Premier League campaign, Alexander-Arnold assisted Sadio Mané in a 2-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers at Anfield, which saw him break the Premier League record for the most assists by a defender in a domestic campaign [12].

Just weeks later, Alexander-Arnold achieved his ‘boyhood dream’ as he guided his boyhood side to UEFA Champions League glory after completing a 2-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur, and with it, Trent broke yet more records as he became the youngest player to start in consecutive UEFA Champions League finals, breaking the record set by AC Milan’s Christian Panucci in 1995.

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Following Liverpool’s UEFA Champions League success, Trent was emotional as you’d imagine as he celebrated with his Mother (pictured above) and his two brothers Tyler and Marcel. It’s such a heartwarming story for Trent after developing through the ranks all the way to UEFA Champions League glory, and guiding Liverpool to their sixth ECL crown.

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On August 9, Alexander-Arnold broke more records as he played his part in Liverpool’s 4-1 victory over Norwich City at Anfield, in which he became just the eighth player in Premier League history to record an assist in five consecutive matches, joining the likes of Ryan Giggs, Thierry Henry, Antonio Valencia, Cesc Fabregas and Mesut Ozil.

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