Trent Alexander-Arnold, Playmaker in Liverpool’s Right Wing

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When you play football with the community, home environment, or school, there will usually be one player who has the worst playing ability than the others. 

This player does not have the ability to dribble properly and cannot pass accurately. Maybe he can only run fast and kick the ball away without accuracy.

Where would you put the player like this? Wing back.

The wing-back position is considered the most suitable for placing the worst player in a team. Just give him a simple task, follow the opposing winger, disturb him not to break into the penalty box, and throw the ball wherever it is when it takes.

More specifically, right-back who more often accepts the easiest tasks. Left-back is often filled with agile left-handed players with exceptional dribbling skills. The existence of this player as a left wing back makes the attacking team from the left side more dangerous. Be the right-back position sacrificed to be filled by the weakest player on the team.

However, as the development of soccer, right-wing back began to become a consideration for not being filled by the most zealous players. The game of short passes from behind makes the wing back also have to contribute in building the attack. We have also begun to recognize wing-backs who have had a tremendous impact on his club attacks. Names like Dani Alves, Philipp Lahm, Kyle Walker, Kierran Trippier, and Trent-Alexander Arnold are some of the names that not only protect the right side of the defense, but also supply the ball to the attack line.

Specifically the last name, the notes at this time are very special. The young Liverpool academy graduate has been a regular player in the Liverpool core team since he was 19 years old. He helped bring Liverpool reach the Champions League final round two years in a row and one of them won. Last season, Trent Alexander-Arnold managed to register 12 assistants for Liverpool as well as being the largest contributors to Liverpool along with Liverpool left-back, Andrew Robertson.

Michael Cox, in his writing in The Athletic, explained that Trent Alexander-Arnold was a Liverpool playmaker since Coutinho’s move. How can a right wing back control the Liverpool attack? Cox said that Liverpool’s match against Arsenal was very describing the role of Trent Alexander-Arnold as a regulator of Liverpool attacks.

The simplest way is to see from the process of the third Liverpool goal last week. It all started with the 20-year-old wingback’s feet. The first goal came from the assist. Joel Matip managed to welcome his corner kick. In the second and third goals his name was not listed as a goal scorer or asis, but if we step back a little back, his role was in the operands before the asis on the goal.

In the second goal, Trent Alexander-Arnold released a horizontal pass to Firmino which was then forwarded with a bounce of the foot to Mohamed Salah who broke into the gap between the Arsenal center-backs. David Luiz, who was late in closing the Salah movement, was forced to break it and bear a penalty. Meanwhile, on the third goal Trent Alexander-Arnold started the Liverpool attack build-up and managed to escape Aubameyang’s pressing before finally releasing a horizontal pass to Fabinho. The Brazilian midfielder then went on to Mohammed Salah and was converted into a goal.

After the departure of Coutinho Liverpool did not have a creative midfielder who was able to ruffle the opponent’s defense from the middle of the field. 

Juergen Klopp tends to play three midfielders with a holding type midfielder and box to box that serves to keep the midfield from controlling opponents after the departure of Coutinho. In this condition, whether we realize it or not, the Liverpool attack criter moves to the right wing which contains Salah and Alexander-Arnold. But Salah is often ahead of the opponent’s defense line, automatic, Arnold was the one who took the role of regulating Liverpool attacks.

This young British player managed to carry out this role well and could be considered a new model of the role of a modern fullback. Statistical records show Alexander-Arnold registering a 3.7 key pass per match. This is the most in the Liverpool squad this season. The crossing is the second highest (1.7 per match) under Andrew Robertson with 2 per match.

Before Arnold, we did know a number of other names that also acted as right-wing backs and contributed to the attack. There are Daniel Alves, Phillip Lahm, Kieran Trippier, Danilo, and others. But there is one note that distinguishes them from Arnold’s current condition in Liverpool. Each player is always playing with a regulator of attacks in midfield. Their movements on the wings then become very fluid due to creativity built from the middle. Liverpool do not have players who play this role in the middle at this time so that the flow of attacks often starts from the feet of Alexander-Arnold on the right side.

Indeed there are still some notes from Arnold about his ability to survive. Several times he failed to close the opponent’s movements while defending. The record of its survival statistics is not too prominent. Yes, it only records 0.7 tackles per match and 0.7 intercepts per match. A far worse number than Andrew Robertson on the left wing which recorded 2 tackles per match and 1.7 intercepts per match.

However, his role as a regulator of Liverpool’s attacks at a very young age really shows his potential in the future. Trent Alexander-Arnold really showed that the position of right-wing back is not a position occupied by the worst player on a team. But rather by the player with the most important role in the team.

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