How Jurgen Klopp transformed Trent Arnold into another level!

How Jurgen Klopp transformed Trent Arnold into another level!

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13 Jan 2022
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Jürgen Klopp

An assist against Brentford propelled Trent Alexander-Arnold into the top three assists in Europe since 2018/19 (the first campaign in which he played more than half of Liverpool’s games). During this time, the boy from the posters (and city walls) of Merseyside made 42 passes. Only Thomas Muller and Lionel Messi have more. 

 

Klopp gave the defender new role – he is doing magic

Now Alexander-Arnold already has 10 assists – in the top 5 championships, again, only Muller has more (16). The filter for defenders in the entire history of the Premier League is even more striking. Already this ten would be enough for Trent to become the best assistant in his position in 25 of the previous 29 seasons. 

By the way, the absolute record for assists for a defender also belongs to him – in the 2019/20 season, TAA made 13 goals. If Trent doesn’t slow down and avoid injury, he will easily close the gap – at the current pace he should have around 17-18 assists by the end of the campaign. It’s not enough to break the record for all players (Thierry Henry and Kevin De Bruyne top with 20 assists), but even trying to position himself next to him for a defender is already unique. 

 

Not a classic full-back anymore

The problem (and at the same time the explanation for Trent’s great season) is precisely that he is no longer just a cornerback.  The previous season’s Trent is a modern fullback classic. This season’s Trent is much more than a full-back (thanks Klopp)

 

At the start of the league season, Trent gave a good summary of his (and Andy Robertson) role in Liverpool’s structure:  “It’s great to help the team create chances, to feed the strikers with passes so that they score goals. In the end, you win if you score more than your opponent. Robbo and I, as cornerbacks, also want to be involved. The coach does not limit us, does not say that we should stay behind. On the contrary, it gives us the freedom to join the attack. The midfielders help us by insuring us and allowing us to attack. It’s great teamwork, coupled with great openings from our forwards in the box.” 

Klopp’s assistant Pepein Linders later explained that in today’s football it is easier for Trent to show his qualities on the flank: “He only plays like a playmaker on the right wing. I don’t know how football will develop in the future, but I’m sure teams will get better and better at blocking the center of the field. The reliability of teams in defense is getting stronger every year, so it is the flanks that become the most important area for those who are trying to attack positionally. Trent helps us with this, he plays there in the style of a central midfielder. Of course, in midfield you have more options for passing, but at the moment we are not thinking about moving him there. Although, of course, he is also capable of playing there.”

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