Liverpool right-back has aimed a dig at Gary Neville in his post-match interview after his side’s impressive 2-0 victory over Sheffield United on Thursday night.
Alexander-Arnold referred to Jamie Carragher’s famous line on Monday Night Football back in 2013 in which he said: “No one wants to grow and up and be a Gary Neville,” much to the United legend’s awkward amusement.
Speaking to BT Sport after Liverpool’s victory, he said that competition between himself and Andy Robertson down the left flank has helped him reach ‘new heights’, before mentioning Carragher’s quote.
“Definitely, we are competitive within ourselves,” the 21-year-old said. “We have a competition between us to see who can get the most goals and assist and it pushes us.
“As a pair, we want to change the way the position has previously been thought about. Obviously there was the famous saying ‘no one wants to grow up to be a full-back or a Gary Neville’. “We want to bring in a different way of thinking and that’s what we’ve been doing over the last 18 months.”
And there’s no doubt that the Reds’ full-backs have helped revolutionise the position, especially Alexander-Arnold. The right-back’s incredible ball striking, passing and crossing abilities have essentially meant he’s become a playmaker from what has historically been thought of as a defence-first position. Switches of play between the two full-backs have also been pivotal in Jurgen Klopp’s build-up play in the final third, a ploy that has often proved devastating.
Since his emergence into the Liverpool side, Alexander-Arnold has 22 assists and four goals in 75 Premier League appearances. Robertson, meanwhile, has also registered 22 assists at the club since his arrival from Hull in 2017.
To put these stats into context, Neville, who made 398 Premier League appearances for Manchester United mustered only 34 assists in his lengthy league career while Ashley Cole, widely regarded as the league’s finest ever full-back and one known for his attacking prowess just as much as his defensive capabilities, managed only 38 assists in 384 Premier League games.
It’s fair to say that over the next decade, kids wanting to be the next Trent Alexander-Arnold will be a regular occurrence.