Trent Alexander-Arnold: I owe Jurgen Klopp everything

Alexander-Arnold was handed his Liverpool debut by Klopp in October 2016, two weeks after the defender’s 18th birthday, and since then he has amassed 97 appearances for the Champions League winners.

He was also picked by Gareth Southgate to make his England debut in June last year, and was part of the squad that made it to the World Cup semi-finals.

Asked what debt of gratitude he owed Klopp for the steep trajectory of his career, Alexander-Arnold replied: “Everything, really. Without him, who knows what would have happened.

“He’s the one that’s given me the most opportunities – more opportunities than I could even ask for.

“He’s put a lot of trust and faith in me personally and I’ve tried to repay him every time he’s done that.”

This week Klopp celebrated four years in charge of Liverpool, and Alexander-Arnold said it was apparent from the outset that the German had the confidence to pick young players for the first team.

“Within his first few weeks he was down at the academy watching the young lads, and that almost gave us a bit more faith and gave a statement to the club that he is going to use young players and give us those chances,” said the 21-year-old.

“He’s shown over the four-year period that he has given those young players their chances and given them opportunities and obviously I’m one of the youngsters that have been given them.

“A massive thanks to him, and hopefully there will be four more years of success.”

Speaking ahead of England’s European Qualifiers against Czech Republic and Bulgaria, Alexander-Arnold says he is motivated by winning silverware for both Liverpool and England, and leaving behind “a legacy”.

“I think the main thing is winning trophies,” said the defender. “Wanting to leave a legacy behind and wanting to feel as though you’ve had an impact on club and country and be remembered.

“That’s the main aim; to win as many trophies as possible and to go as far in tournaments as possible.”

England are currently top of Group A in the Euro 2020 Qualifiers and on track to feature in next year’s tournament. With the two semi-finals and the final all played at Wembley, Alexander-Arnold says the players want to cash in on the opportunity to potentially play knock-out games in front of a home crowd.

“We’ve all recognised that if we get there then it’s probably the closest thing to a home tournament that we’ll have in the next few years,” he said.

“So for us as a team it’s important to make sure we realise the opportunity that we’ve got and to embrace it.

“Our home form’s been really good over the last few seasons and we’re looking to carry that on. We’ve got two away games now but if we get over those hurdles then we’ll be going to the Euros and then a lot of home fixtures hopefully coming our way.”

Reporter’s notebook

Kaveh Solhekol was at the England press conference and says competition for places at right-back will benefit Gareth Southgate’s squad…

“A Champions League winner and a regular in the best Liverpool side of the past 30 years – Trent Alexander-Arnold has been a revelation. How happy Gareth Southgate must be to have him available for England.

“In fact, when it comes to right-backs Southgate is spoilt for choice. Alexander-Arnold, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker and Aaron Wan-Bissaka are all fighting to be the number one and number two.

“With Walker currently out of favour and Wan-Bissaka injured, Alexander-Arnold and newly-invigorated Tripper will vie for a starting place against the Czech Republic on Friday.

“England’s manager has been clear both players offer more going forward than Walker. Being a regular for the Premier League champions is no longer enough to guarantee a place in Southgate’s squad.

“Alexander-Arnold said he was surprised by Walker’s omission but the Liverpool defender’s volume of assists and quality of distribution are considerable assets that stand him apart.

“Alexander-Arnold or Tripper or Walker or Wan-Bissaka? Ultimately, it’s a nice problem for Southgate to have.”

2019-10-09T19:36:10+00:00By |

About the Author: