If Liverpool remain on course for an even more successful season than their 2018/19 campaign, so does their influential right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold. There is perhaps no individual who provides a better demonstration of the evolving role of the full-back in modern football; it is perhaps injuries to Alexander-Arnold and left-back Andy Robertson that Liverpool can least afford.
That the 21-year-old once favoured playing in midfield has no doubt contributed much to the fact he might even be the world’s most technically gifted right-back since Dani Alves, who was once so essential – and provided similar qualities to Alexander-Arnold – to Pep Guardiola’s outstanding Barcelona team. During December, the England international contributed to his club winning their first ever Club World Cup, and in the Premier League – at what could have been a testing time for their title challenge – he scored one goal, created three others and contributed to three clean sheets as they won five from five. Their 4-0 victory at Leicester was inspired by him complementing two assists with one superb strike of his own.
“It’s a proud moment,” he said of being named the competition’s player of the month for December, ahead of fellow nominees Emiliano Buendía, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Kevin De Bruyne, Ben Foster, Danny Ings, Jamie Vardy and Adama Traoré. “We’ve had a good month as a team.”