It goes without saying that the international breaks never come as surprising or entertaining. I’ve got to say, at the drop of a hat that they are very much like one of those odd ad breaks that come up all of a sudden in the middle of the most entertaining scenes of a series, movie, or a program on a Sunday night.
But wait, this young generation of English talent has got very much to say, and prove. Trent Alexander-Arnold was one of those lads who put in an eye-catching performance, scoring his first goal for his country against the USA at the National Stadium. In this analysis, I will be commenting on the Liverpool right-back’s performance and his potential.
The Rising Star
Trent Alexander-Arnold, the 20-year-old Liverpool right-back delivered a man-of-the-match performance and managed to catch the eyes of many when he scored his first ever goal in an England shirt.
He played 42 games for the Under-21s before making his senior international debut back in June and has now become the youngest Liverpool player to score a goal as an international since Michael Owen.
Here, you can see his positioning and great run into the box where he picked up a brilliant pass from Sancho to net his first goal. It’s one of the greatest assets a modern full-back can have: He seizes the opportunity to make a quick run into a zone that could provide him with a great chance to score a goal, and he delivers. He is confident, quick and makes the right decision without hesitating.
The graphic above might be surprising as it doesn’t demonstrate a spectacular effort but it actually is spectacular, in some ways.
What I’m talking about here is his confidence. He could have chosen to play the ball safely in this position and opted to play a short pass. Rather, he tried a long-range pass that broke the line and he distributed the ball comfortably with that effort.
He tries such balls on a regular basis at Liverpool and he is successful with most of them. It shows his talent in both finding the right man and making the best decision to get the ball forward as quickly as possible. In Jurgen Klopp’s approach, the full-backs are not the ones who are responsible for setting up the play and playing out from the back as they stay wider to get the passes after an initial set up.
And when they have the ball, they generally opt for much more direct passes trying to benefit from the spaces in the opposition’s half. As I have mentioned earlier, it’s important to note his confidence here.
He was also aware of his defensive duties. In the graphic above, you can see he is alert to a ball in-behind a very confused and disorganised England defence and acts accordingly. He covers it up and chases the opposition, trying to stop him.
It’s quite significant for a young defender to know where to position himself properly and as a 20-year-old, he is fully aware of his duties in both defending and attacking situations.
The Best Is Yet To Come
He was able to step up when he got the chance to play in Nathaniel Clyne’s position last season and he has been showing such impressive performances since then.
His athleticism, quickness, and quality on the ball, as well as defensive capabilities, are playing a very significant part in Jurgen Klopp’s counter-pressing 4-3-3 and he can only get better. Although, there are some points that he needs to improve.
For instance, he must concentrate on strengthening himself physically in order to get better in duels. He has some very tough competition with Kyle Walker for getting into the national side on a regular basis and he has a long way to go. But there’s no doubting his enthusiasm and fighting spirit at the age of just 20 to get what he deserves.
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