Liverpool full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold says he has “never felt so powerless” than when facing Wolves winger Adama Traore.
Despite being only 22, Alexander-Arnold has a plethora of experience, both in the Premier League and in the Champions League.
He has maintained his place as a vital part of Jurgen Klopp‘s side that have tasted success in both competitions. Alongside that, the right-back has faced many a top opponent after only four years as a senior Liverpool player.
Among them is Barcelona icon Lionel Messi, but Alexander-Arnold admits Traore offers a unique challenge of his own.
The Spain international, known for his brute strength and pace going forward, has proved too much for many of his top-flight colleagues.
Crafting his perfect player in an interview with Goal, Alexander-Arnold hailed the winger’s dynamic traits.
“Adama Traore, easily!” he said when asked to pick a player with speed. “It’s almost not human the way he can change direction and go. I’ve never felt so powerless against someone.
“People are faster than you, that’s inevitable, but you can get yourself in good positions, give yourself a head start and get yourself in the race.
“But with him, and with his power as well, there’s nothing you can really do.
“I remember last season when he came on at Anfield. He’s just turned and knocked it, and he was gone. I’ve never felt like that before! It has to be him, has to be.”
Traore, who scored six goals and assisted 12 others last season, has formed a deadly partnership with striker Raul Jimenez.
However, this season, he has only played 90 minutes in the Premier League on two occasions. Indeed, Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo has often opted to start Pedro Neto and bring Traore on as a substitute.
Liverpool urged not to rely on Matip
Meanwhile, Liverpool are in the midst of a defensive crisis, with Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez both injured.
Gomez is the latest to move to the sidelines after his knee injury in England training on Wednesday.
That leaves Joel Matip as the club’s only senior, recognised centre-back. But pundit Mark Lawrenson has insisted that Reds boss Klopp cannot rely on the former Cameroon international.