Football News

Trent Alexander-Arnold is “a future Liverpool captain”, says Jurgen Klopp’s assistant Pep Lijnders

By Ben Green

Published: 12:59, 27 July 2021

Jurgen Klopp’s assistant manager Pep Lijnders believes Trent Alexander-Arnold has the ‘leadership qualities’, ’emotional control’ and mental fortitude to be “a future Liverpool captain”.

Alexander-Arnold, 22, has been a mainstay in Liverpool’s defence since bursting onto the scene in 2016, making nearly 200 appearances for the club at just 22 years of age, during which time the Merseysider has won the Champions League and the Premier League.

He famously became the first defender in Premier League history to provide 12 assists in a single season, doing so in 2018/19, and he has continued to dazzle with his playmaker exploits, creating 77 chances last season, the fifth-most of any player and the most among defenders in the division.

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Given his continued rise to prominence and consistent excellence as Klopp’s trusted No. 2, assistant manager Lijnders has tipped the 22-year-old for future club captaincy, believing the academy graduate will one day don the armband.

“I’m so proud of Trent. He was this natural technical talent when he was just 15 years old,” Lijnders told the Liverpool’s official website.

“He had all the characteristics I loved: a mentality to win, passionate to improve but his emotions sometimes took control instead of him taking control over the emotions. He trained with so much power and competition.

“He grew step by step into the wonderful guy he is now, surrounded by a lovely family, he created this superb personality. He has this aggression in a positive way.

“If someone represents this quote of Bill Shankly it’s him: ‘playing at the highest level isn’t pressure, it’s a reward’.

“I still see the same fire in his eyes in each training, but I don’t see this young guy anymore; I see a leader, I see someone who controls his emotions, a future captain. A leader by example.

“The best clubs have one thing in common, a ‘one club’ mentality. The culture spreads through all departments. It’s great that our talents, the real ones, can make these steps together with our team.”