Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold is the best dead-ball specialist to grace English football since Glenn Hoddle, according to Garth Crooks.
The 21-year-old played a pivotal role in the Premier League leaders 2-1 win over Brighton & Hove Albion last weekend.
How good has Alexander-Arnold been this season? Five key things to know…
- Trent Alexander-Arnold is one of three Liverpool footballers (Virgil van Dijk and Andy Robertson being the other two) to play every single minute this season.
- He’s the Reds joint-leading assist-maker alongside Andrew Robertson both on five, trailing only Kevin De Bruyne (9) and Son Heung-Min (6).
- No one has assisted more from a dead-ball situation this season than Alexander-Arnold (4).
- No one has created more chances from set plays than Alexander-Arnold (23).
- Only De Bruyne (52) has created more chances than Alexander-Arnold (48).
Alexander-Arnold, who recently celebrated 100 senior appearances for his boyhood club, assisted Dutch centre-back Virgil van Dijk twice from dead-ball situations to put Jurgen Klopp’s men into a comfortable 2-0 lead.
However, they finished the game with 10 men after goalkeeper Alisson was sent off for handling the ball, spurring the visitors on to pull a goal back through defender Lewis Dunk but the Reds held on for three more valuable points.
The win sees Liverpool sit eight points clear at the top of the Premier League with Leicester City being their nearest challengers and defending champions Manchester City a further three points adrift of the Foxes.
Alexander-Arnold’s pair of assists means no one has created more Premier League goals since the start of last season than him (17) and Crooks, who stood in awe of his delivery from corners and free-kicks, believes there’s been no one better for more than two decades.
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“I don’t think I have seen a young lad with the ability to place a dead ball precisely where he wants it to go – and with such quality – since Glenn Hoddle,” he wrote in his BBC Sport column.
“Alexander-Arnold’s crosses and balls into the danger areas are having a devastating effect on the opposition.
“His two assists for Van Dijk were just out of this world. The problem with free-kicks, and corners of course, is a defence can do very little about how they are taken.
“This local lad is proving to be a bit special. I just wish Liverpool fans would chant his name more. Even with a name like Trent Alexander-Arnold, it can’t be that difficult.”