Football News

Trent Alexander-Arnold: ‘Xabi Alonso-esque’ Liverpool defender hailed for ‘redefining’ a longstanding role

By Ben Green

Published: 10:45, 12 November 2019

Former Liverpool forward Peter Crouch believes Trent Alexander-Arnold is “redefining the way full-backs play”.

The 21-year-old is operating at such a level that he currently possesses a passing range equivalent to club legend Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso, according to Crouch.

How good is Alexander-Arnold’s passing? Five things to know… 

  • Alongside Robertson, Alexander-Arnold has registered the most Premier League assists in 2019 (12).
  • Earlier this term he became the first Liverpool player ever to assist in five consecutive Premier League games.
  • He was also recently entered into the Guinness World Records for the most English Premier League assists by a defender in a single season.
  • Only Kevin De Bruyne (43) has created more chances in the Premier League this season than Alexander-Arnold (42).
  • The Liverpool defender has played more passes into the final third than any Premier League outfielder this season (127).

The England international has forged a reputation for his ability to surge up the byline and operate, effectively, as a second winger.

Alongside left-back Andrew Robertson, the duo have collectively registered 30 Premier League assists since the start of last season.

They have both been instrumental in Liverpool’s current eight-point gap atop the English top-flight table, and Crouch has now compared Alexander-Arnold’s passing ability to two of the best the game has ever seen.

“With what they do for this Liverpool team, Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold are redefining the way full-backs play,” Crouch told BBC Sport.

“With their runs forward and balls into the box they have always offered such an attacking threat along with the front three, but now they are passing to each other too.

“I remember when I was playing for Liverpool, the full-backs were passing it inside to Gerrard or Xabi Alonso, who would play the diagonal balls forward.

“Well, Trent is doing that himself now, from his position, and he is doing it just as well as Gerrard or Alonso.”

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“I don’t know a better full-back pairing”

Robertson had a huge hand in Liverpool’s recent 3-1 home win over reigning Premier League champions Man City, marauding forward before whipping in an inch-perfect cross for Mohamed Salah.

Three points against Pep Guardiola’s side has put the Reds nine points clear of the Citizens, and Crouch has now praised Klopp’s full-back pairing as the best in world football at this moment in time.

He added: “Then you have got ‘Robbo’ on his bike and pelting forward to get on the end of them, creating chances like he did for Salah’s goal against City.

“It is a joy to watch at times and they really are outstanding. I don’t know a better full-back pairing in the world at the moment, and they are another reason why this Liverpool team is going to be so hard to stop.”