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Klopp: Trent is going through natural progression as a young footballer

The rise of Trent Alexander-Arnold from academy prospect to English international over the past two years has warmed the hearts of anyone associated with Liverpool.

 

There is nothing like seeing 'one of our own' take to the pitch. Especially in the current environment where big money signings are the norm for top flight clubs and youngsters have to fight tooth and nail just to make the odd substitute appearance.

 

To his great credit, Jurgen Klopp has been an advocate in giving young talent an opportunity in his time with Bundesliga clubs Mainz and Borussia Dortmund and has continued to do since arriving at Liverpool.

 

Alexander-Arnold was given a brief taste of first-team action during the 2016/7 season and his Football Index value has been on the rise ever since. He sensed an opportunity at the start of last season when Nathaniel Clyne was sidelined by a long-term back injury.

 

At first, Klopp alternated Alexander-Arnold and fellow youngster Joe Gomez in the position, but with the latter dealing with some niggling injuries along with a dip in form, Alexander Arnold was given a great opportunity to show his talents on a consistent basis.

 

The teenager relished being on the domestic and European stage and won a wide range of complements from managers, pundits and fans across the footballing spectrum. 

 

However, there were always going to be some bumps in the road and Alexander-Arnold has found it a lot tougher at the start of this campaign.

 

The signs were there to see when the youngster produced a lacklusture performance against Arsenal last Saturday evening.

 

It was further highlighted when Klopp replaced him at half-time in the Champions League clash against Red Star Belgrade on Tuesday night.

 

The manager believes he has put his finger on the English internationals’ below-par performances to begin this season.

 

It has nothing to do with a sudden loss of ability, more the fact of his insatiable desire to play constantly without a proper break.

 

alexander-arnold3_600.jpg

 

Klopp knows he needs to balance Alexander Arnold’s youthful enthusiasm by not burning out the talented youngster.

 

The Mirror reported Klopp as saying: "Trent has played constantly.  I have spoken to him about it – but not along the lines of ‘This is good, that isn’t’ It’s more general ­advice.

 

"He is still a very young boy. He had two weeks off in the summer. That’s really not a lot.

 

"We constantly try to keep an eye on him and, fitness-wise, what he needs to do with the group. Actually, he’s in a good place at the moment.

 

"He has played a lot of football. He will play a lot of football – that’s the good news for him. It’s more important that he stays injury-free."

 

Aside from the second 45 minutes in Belgrade, Klopp has taken Alexander-Arnold out of the firing line in a couple of league games this season, most notably against Man City at Anfield.

 

The manager has seen this many times with young footballers before and believes Alexander-Arnold will be much better off in the long run.

 

"What’s happening is fine and normal. These are usual things. 

 

"It won’t be the first time or the last time in his life that everything isn’t 100%, but he’s still an outstanding player and really important to us.”

 

Alexander-Arnold will be heading off to join the England squad at the conclusion of the game against Fulham.

 

It isn't an ideal prospect when the best remedy for his sluggish start to the season would be to have a quiet week at home.

 

However, you cannot deny youthful enthusiasm and the wish to improve themselves at any opportunity and Alexander-Arnold has that in spades.

 

What is undeniable is that after years of pain the club now has a defensive nucleus that can carry us through the next decade or more.

 

Alexander-Arnold 20, Gomez 21, and Andy Robertson 24 (who is rumoured to be receiving a well earned pay rise) are only going to become better players from here.

 

They will be mentored along the way by one of the best defenders in the game in Virgil Van Dijk (27 yo), while Alisson at just 26 years old has not even reached his peak for a goalkeeper.

 

After a few years of being spoilt watching the front three inflict damage on the opposition, we can now sit back and enjoy the work of the back four with a deal of pride.

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He needs competition not named Gomez because he's too good a CB. The high level experience he got last year is great, but at a massive club you can't play a guy of his young age every game. The expectations are too high and his confidence could be in jeopardy. Right back should be one of our first priorities this summer. 

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5 hours ago, 3 Stacks said:

He needs competition not named Gomez because he's too good a CB. The high level experience he got last year is great, but at a massive club you can't play a guy of his young age every game. The expectations are too high and his confidence could be in jeopardy. Right back should be one of our first priorities this summer. 

Why put unnecessary restrictions on ourselves? We could easily play Gomez there when you want rest Trent. Lovren proved last year that he’s more than capable against the very best of players. 

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3 minutes ago, TheHowieLama said:

You should just make it your signature mate - then it will appear in every post you make.

How do you mean?

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27 minutes ago, aRdja said:

Why put unnecessary restrictions on ourselves? We could easily play Gomez there when you want rest Trent. Lovren proved last year that he’s more than capable against the very best of players. 

I have no idea what your point is. Buying a right back adds options, it doesn't restrict anything. 

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2 minutes ago, 3 Stacks said:

I have no idea what your point is. Buying a right back adds options, it doesn't restrict anything. 

It’s quite straightforward. Gomez is more than capable tat RB...and we have a more than capable centre half in Lovren to fill in, so to dismiss it as an option is pretty bizarre.

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33 minutes ago, aRdja said:

It’s quite straightforward. Gomez is more than capable tat RB...and we have a more than capable centre half in Lovren to fill in, so to dismiss it as an option is pretty bizarre.

I know Gomez at right back is an option, we've been using that option for a year. It's the "unnecessary restrictions" part which makes zero sense

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Just now, 3 Stacks said:

I know Gomez at right back is an option, we've been using that option for a year. It's the "unnecessary restrictions" part which makes even less sense than your usual takes and that you've repeated over and over again, for some reason. 

You said he needs a competition other than Gomez, because despite him being quite good at RB, you think we should only play him at centre half for some reason.

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17 minutes ago, aRdja said:

You said he needs a competition other than Gomez, because despite him being quite good at RB, you think we should only play him at centre half for some reason.

Literally never said he should "only" play CB, you've made that up. But yes, he should be full-time first choice CB. If we need him to play RB at times that's fine also, but I think it's a better idea to buy another RB because it adds another option besides putting a guy who has shown enough potential to be a top class CB back out on the right and doesn't break up his terrific partnership with VvD.

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Just now, 3 Stacks said:

Literally never said he should "only" play CB, you've made that up. But yes, he should be full-time first choice CB. If we need him to play RB at times that's fine also, but I think it's a better idea to buy another RB because it adds another option besides putting a guy who has shown enough potential to be a top class CB back out on the right. 

Lovren can fill in at centre half capably when we need to play Joe at right back... so that’s a genuine option. Therefore right back shouldn’t be a priority IMO.

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9 hours ago, VladimirIlyich said:

We always have to prepare for the games Dejan tries to cash cheques his ability can't keep.

We have. We’ve started more games with him on the bench now. We have Trent, Gomez, Clyne and (apparently) Fabinho who could play the RB role. To say that another one should be the main priority next summer is bizarre.

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27 minutes ago, mgw100 said:

I wonder if Fabinho isn't that keen on playing RB. Surely he is the best fit to cover when TAA is rested or unavailable. 

Too slow,judging by his performances so far,in my view.

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