Is midfield role the future for Alexander-Arnold?

By Anish Dogra 18 Apr 2023
Trent Alexander-Arnold LEELIV

Liverpool right-back excelled in a new position as shown by the stats from his influential display against Leeds

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There were many players who stood out for Liverpool in their 6-1 demolition of Leeds United on Monday night, but none more so than Trent Alexander-Arnold.

The right-back produced two assists, with the second highlighting the fact that he probably should not be called a right-back any more due to his growing influence in a new central-midfield role.

He arguably had his most impactful display this season as shown by the stats below.

The most prominent figures were the amount of touches he had and successful passes. The 153 touches were the second-most of any player in a Premier League match this season, while his 124 accurate passes was his highest in a fixture for Liverpool.

Alexander-Arnold v Leeds in numbers
Statistic Total
Assists 2
Touches 153
Passes 136
Acc. passes 124
Ball recoveries 11

And Alexander-Arnold’s heat map, as illustrated below, showed how much of an impact he had in this role. 

It was a performance that impressed his manager, Jurgen Klopp, including his pass over the top for substitute Darwin Nunez to score the sixth goal.

“He won the ball back for the first goal from that position as well, stepping really out there - it was good,” Klopp said in his post-match press conference. “I think also the highlight was then the last pass [his assist for Nunez], but he had a few more from that position.

“Wherever Trent is [on the pitch] he can be decisive with his passes, he was very often for us, that's how it is, tonight was a good game, you could see that he enjoyed it.”

Liverpool and Klopp seem to have unlocked a new version of Alexander-Arnold, and Thomas Frank believes the best version of him could be in that position.

“I think the future for him could be in midfield,” the Brentford head coach said. “When they are on top, they are, for me like today, unplayable. One of the best teams in the world that were so consistent over the last years.

“Jurgen just said that today it was not one situation where [Andrew] Robertson and Trent were 1v1, they were always doubling up, always someone down to help, and I think that’s key as well.”

The assist to Nunez was also Alexander-Arnold's 50th in the Premier League. At 24 years and 192 days he is the third-youngest to reach that landmark after Cesc Fabregas (22y 145d) and Wayne Rooney (24y 84d).

Since his Premier League debut in December 2016, only Kevin De Bruyne, with 84 assists, Robertson (53) and Mohamed Salah (53) have provided more in that time.

 Though Liverpool are still a way off from finishing in the top four, their last two performances have been to a much higher standard, and with a new version of Alexander-Arnold in their ranks, they could yet enjoy a strong finish to the season.

The race for Europe

Position Pos Club Played Pl GD Points Pts
3 Manchester United MUN 38 +15 75
4 Newcastle United NEW 38 +35 71
5 Liverpool LIV 38 +28 67
6 Brighton & Hove Albion BHA 38 +19 62
7 Aston Villa AVL 38 +5 61
8 Tottenham Hotspur TOT 38 +7 60
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