The Class of 2018/19 is a short series in which, ahead of the new season starting on Friday, The Anfield Talk contributors review the 2018/19 season’s of Liverpool’s squad.
Here is @firmino_esq, reviewing Trent Alexander-Arnold‘s season…
As the 2018/19 season drew to a close, Trent Alexander-Arnold returned home to Merseyside a hero, written into Liverpool Football Club folklore and never to be forgotten. Winning the coveted Champions League Final was the climax to a wonderful campaign for the Reds and for the lad from West Derby.
Any Reds supporter would tell you that a few seasons back, Liverpool had one of the worst defences in European Football. Even if LFC were 3 – 0 to the good with five minutes left on the clock, you would think the opponents were still in the game. Fast-forward to present and we are seeing the complete opposite. Trent has played a significant role in this, becoming a crucial component of a Liverpool defence that only conceded 22 goals in the league last term. The young Scouser has not only established himself as one of the best right-backs in England, but in Europe as well.
Something worth mentioning about Alexander-Arnold’s spectacular season is his special relationship with Andrew Robertson. The two revealed that they had a bet with one another over who would have the most assists come the end of the campaign. Both the players saw an incredible return, but it was Trent who came out on top, with an impressive haul of 16 assists across all competitions – 12 of them coming in the Premier League.
Small margins are what defined the season. Millimeters separated Liverpool from Manchester City, quite literally on one occasion, and as a local lad you could imagine what it would have meant to finally deliver the trophy that every Red, near and far from Anfield, has been dreaming of for almost three decades. Alas, it was not meant to be – this time. No doubt that hunger will carry through even stronger into the coming season.
The importance of having local talent coming through the ranks could not be more overstated. So as far as football is concerned, players who invest in a club long-term are extremely few and far between. Such players as Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher, Carles Puyol and Francesco Totti immediately come to mind, but beyond that there aren’t many – this kind of loyalty is rare in football these days. At just 20 years old, with such a strong connection to the community and fanbase, Trent can go on to reach amazing heights for this club. He could well have a hand in bringing home the Premier League title after thirty years, and if he carries on the way he’s going we’re looking at a future Liverpool captain.
Having played a pivotal role in making it to the final, with a genius piece of quick thinking from THAT corner, the 1st of June would be a day for the full-back to remember forever. Despite the team producing a far from incredible showing, they managed to score twice and concede none – the defensive display was a little more convincing than that of the attacking, to say the least. Trent may not have assisted or scored in the final, but he put in a good shift and played an important part in keeping the Spurs attack at bay. The final whistle brought Alexander-Arnold to his knees. After seeing the Premier League title so narrowly elude him, a Champions League medal was more than sufficient.
Where to From Here?
So what does the future hold for Trent Alexander-Arnold? One can only hope that he keeps rising to new heights, something he has consistently done since his introduction to Liverpool’s starting XI. This coming season will bring even more challenges than the last. The Premier League will undoubtedly be at the forefront of every Red’s mind, not least Trent’s. He will be desperate to deliver that title back to Liverpool. How fitting it would be considering it would be 30 years since we last lifted the trophy. TAA’s meteoric rise shows no signs of slowing down and I’m sure he will also be eyeing up the Champions League once again as well as the domestic titles on offer. With Euro 2020 at the end of the season Trent will want to lead into it with an impressive club campaign.
It’s hard to see anything other than an incredibly bright future for Alexander-Arnold. With Klopp guiding him in the right direction and a team that has each other’s backs, he finds himself in the perfect environment for any young player to develop themselves. Liverpool fans have so much more to look forward to from the right-back this season. Trent is doing it for ‘his’ club and the fans, not only himself, which is exactly what sets him apart from the rest.