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Jurgen Klopp praises how Trent Alexander-Arnold 'developed in a way nobody could have expected'

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Trent Alexander-Arnold has become Liverpool’s assist king after he ‘developed in a way nobody could have expected’ as Jurgen Klopp heaps praise on former ‘skinny kid’ turned Anfield star

  • Trent Alexander-Arnold has become the assist king at Liverpool in recent years 
  • Boss Jurgen Klopp says it is because he ‘developed in a way nobody expected’ 
  • German recalls ‘skinny kid’ Arnold and praises how he physically developed
  • Alexander-Arnold is set to be fit for clash against Man City on Sunday 

Liverpool’s assist king Trent Alexander-Arnold is almost unrecognisable from the lightweight youth first recommended to Jurgen Klopp.

The Reds boss remembers being tipped off about the gangly teenager by his assistant Pep Lijnders and never dreamed he would go on to become one of the finest right backs in the world.

Now 23, Alexander-Arnold’s quick recovery from a hamstring injury to face Manchester City is a huge boost for Liverpool.

Trent Alexander-Arnold has'developed in a way nobody could have expected' at Liverpool

Trent Alexander-Arnold has ‘developed in a way nobody could have expected’ at Liverpool

Since being converted from midfield, he has 44 Premier League assists — only nine behind the all-time record for a defender by former Evertonian Leighton Baines.

‘He developed in a way nobody could have expected,’ says Klopp. ‘He had a great mentor in Pep who coached him at the Under 16s. Pep started to tell me about this boy, then this skinny kid came around the corner. You could see he was special but there was a lot of work to do, especially physically.

‘Look at the first pictures of Trent when he scored his first goal against Hoffenheim (in 2017) and the man he became now. Wow, what a difference.

‘Whatever you set up as a coach, 80 or 90 per cent is up to the player. If you give a player freedom and there is no output, all you do is open your formation and get exposed. So yeah, he did well so far!’

Alexander-Arnold has redefined the full back position and has a personal-best 16 assists this season. Klopp believes the role could develop even further over time.

Jurgen Klopp compared the'skinny kid' he first met with'the man he became now'

Jurgen Klopp compared the ‘skinny kid’ he first met with ‘the man he became now’

Klopp remarked upon the difference in physique from Alexander-Arnold scoring against Hoffenheim for Liverpool back in 2017

Klopp remarked upon the difference in physique from Alexander-Arnold scoring against Hoffenheim for Liverpool back in 2017

‘You don’t tell a full back from the first day to play really higher all the time. You develop as a team. We can do this because the boys are here year after year.

‘We don’t have to start again every season. We have the basis. Other full backs have defined the position before Trent and for sure he has as well.

‘Where it can end and where it will go to, I do not know, but we have some ideas how we can evolve our game. It’s tricky because of the lack of training time but maybe we will find some moments where we can work on this.’

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