Time For Trent To Further Enhance His Reputation In Russia

Some footballers’ careers have a sense of destiny about them.
Henry Jackson  |  11th June 2018

You always knew Steven Gerrard would enjoy many huge moments in a Liverpool shirt – he was just born with that preference for the dramatic.

It was like watching a perfectly-scripted film, even though the ending was fairly traumatic.

The same applied to so many other Reds greats, and in Trent Alexander-Arnold, we have the next in line to fall into this category. England to win all three group games is 9/2 with RedsBet.

The 19-year-old enjoyed a stunning 2017/18 season, evolving from relative unknown to starting in a Champions League final and keeping Cristiano Ronaldo quiet.

Nobody saw quite such a meteoric rise coming, and without lumping extra pressure on his young shoulders, he already looks a future captain at Anfield.

You can sense that there is something magical in Alexander-Arnold’s boots, and that he will treat us to many memorable scenarios in the years to come. Players of such ilk are once-in-a-generation English talents.

He is a footballer of immense quality, but he also has that Gerrard-esque unpredictability and edge to him that often separates him from the rest.

Having scored a beauty of a free-kick on his Champions League debut in Hoffenheim, and netted his first goal in front of the Kop for his boyhood club, against Swansea City, the latest seismic moment in Alexander-Arnold’s career was being called up to England’s World Cup squad.

England to win the World Cup is 16/1 with RedsBet.

 

Liverpool supporters have a strange relationship with the English national team, with many Reds taking little to no interest in the Three Lions, but that may be different with their young hero featuring in Russia this summer.

We are all desperate for him to do well, almost acting as unofficial family members willing him on from the sidelines, and he can be a star at the tournament.

Michael Owen was also a teenager when he lit up the 1998 World Cup in France, and it wouldn’t be a shock to see him similarly etch his name into England folklore in the coming weeks. Can TAA do the unbelievable and become Liverpool’s top goalscorer in Russia? He is 50/1 with RedsBet to do so.

It’s just the kind of thing he does, and will continue to do, much like his childhood hero Gerrard.

Alexander-Arnold is expected to start as second-choice right wing-back behind Tottenham’s Kieran Trippier, which does admittedly hamper his chances of impressing, but don’t forget Owen started as a substitute in 1998.

His time should come at some point, and he is the type of character who will grasp the opportunity in style.

Gareth Southgate put him on set-piece duty in the 2-0 friendly win over Costa Rica last Thursday, which spoke volumes about the faith the manager already has in him.

There is a fearlessness about Alexander-Arnold that means he will not be remotely fazed by being thrown in at any point in Russia, whether it be starting in a group game or being introduced in a tense knockout match.

After the season he has experienced, which included a sensational performance up against Man City whippet Leroy Sane in the Champions League quarter-final, what should he be worried about?

He has hurdled every obstacle that has stood before, barring the odd minor blip – he won’t wish to remember Man United away in a hurry – and the World Cup represents another wonderful occasion for him to showcase his talent to the world.

Southgate is impressing as England manager, and he has shown bravery in some of his decision-making, from getting rid of Wayne Rooney to playing a more attack-minded style of football.

Taking a punt on Alexander-Arnold over Tripper would be a gamble in some ways, given the Liverpool youngster’s lack of experience, but it could be one that pays off handsomely.

He is riding on the crest of a wave at the moment and is a more technical player than his older teammate, as highlighted by a stunning strike in his first-ever training session for England.

It brought back memories of Gerrard famously nut-megging Paul Ince in one of his first-ever Liverpool training sessions, such was his level of confidence in his own ability.

Alexander-Arnold is not afraid of any challenge put before him, and he will firmly believe he can light up the World Cup.

Of course, there is a fair chance that he may end up playing second fiddle to Tripper and featuring very little, before England eventually bow out in a whimper.

That’s not his style, though, and there’s a sneaky suspicion Liverpool’s prodigious teenager has something up his sleeve.

It’s what he does, and will continue to do as the years pass.

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