The 2018/19 season saw Trent Alexander-Arnold break the record for most assists by a defender in a single Premier League season. He achieved an impressive twelve assists (sixteen in all competitions), which is a Guinness World Record.
The academy graduate started his career as a central midfielder but emerged into the first team as a right-back. Growing up, Trent idolised Xabi Alonso and Steven Gerrard. The two Liverpool legends played at right-back for a time and both have clearly had a huge influence on the youngster’s game.
Robbo vs Trent:
Left back Andy Robertson and Alexander-Arnold were Liverpool’s assist kings last term (and still are), with the former racking up eleven in the Premier League. But it was the scouser, of course, who came out on top.
Liverpool depend on their full backs to create chances. Both provide Liverpool with width but have very different playing styles. Robertson often plays like a natural full-back and constantly whips crosses in from the left flank whilst Alexander-Arnold has something a little extra.
Alexander-Arnold is a creator who also has the ability to switch play with long passes that bypass narrow midfields. He can also play a lofted ball in behind high defences. Most fullbacks like to hug the touch line and cross, but Alexander-Arnold can switch play and make incisive passes through the middle.
The creative fullback:
In every team, the creative spark tends to come from the middle. But the nature of Liverpool’s workaholic midfield means a lot of responsibility is placed on Trent’s young shoulders.
Although his assist record so far this season is relatively low – 3 – we all know it’s up to the forwards to finish the plethora of chances he creates.
The Englishman has already created over 37 chances in 19/20, second only to Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne in the premier league. He is certainly an effective creative outlet.
A Chance in Midfield?
All the stats suggest the Liverpool right-back could one day deputise as a central midfielder. The likes of Steven Gerrard and Fabinho played similar roles in the early stages of their careers.
Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher said recently: “Could Alexander-Arnold come into midfield and be a De Bruyne type player?
He has more quality now than Liverpool’s midfielders. You think about the crosses De Bruyne puts in from right midfield and maybe that’s a position Trent could play.”
Even at 21 he already boasts a record of 28 assists in 100 games. He still has a lot to work on, but he is at the right club to become a future great.