Former Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva has said that watching Trent Alexander-Arnold’s performance in a friendly match convinced him of the full-back’s potential.
The West Derby-born defender – who is better renowned for his attacking contributions – has assisted 14 goals in all competitions this term, two less than his record set last season with nine games of the season yet to be played.
Speaking to Liverpool’s official website about the 21-year-old, Lucas – who left Anfield in July 2017 – opened up about the non-competitive match in which he saw Alexander-Arnold’s potential for himself.
“Well, I remember a few moments of Trent,” the Lazio midfielder said. “I remember he came with us to play in a friendly game and I think he was 16. He was very shy and Brendan [Rodgers] was in charge.
“I remember he wasn’t comfortable but we could see he was at a different level, I would say, for his age, his quality on the ball.
“So after he started to train with us in the first team he waited patiently, but we were sure that he would be a Liverpool player and he would be one of the best players in the world.
“I was sure because you just could see on a daily basis how many qualities he had, his crosses and his passing. He is just a complete full-back.”
While Alexander-Arnold’s attacking capabilities are never called into question, he has been seen to make mistakes defensively and Lucas admitted that there is room for improvement at both ends of the pitch for the full-back.
“Of course, he still has to improve a lot but he’s already done amazing seasons,” the midfielder said. “I think the last two seasons he has been a star player.
“Trent is a good boy, he’s a Liverpool boy and we can see how much he enjoys playing for Liverpool.
“I always try to help the young players – I think it’s important to make them feel comfortable and after it’s up to them to learn and improve.”
In other news, Liverpool midfielder Pedro Chirivella has reportedly agreed to join Ligue 1 side Nantes upon the expiry of his contract at the end of June.
Chirivella has enjoyed something of a resurgence in the FA Cup and League Cup this term, having struggled to make his mark in previous seasons.