A brave gamble from Jurgen Klopp with Trent Alexander-Arnold is still paying off for Liverpool years down the line.
In the midst of an injury crisis at Anfield during the 2017/18 season, with first-choice right-back Nathaniel Clyne restricted to the sidelines, the German made the decision to play the then 18-year-old in the team.
It was a bold choice from Klopp, giving so much responsibility to a player just fresh out of the academy, but it is a position that Alexander-Arnold is yet to relinquish, highlighting a piece of managerial brilliance.
Since making his first Liverpool appearance during the 2016/17 season during the tenure of Brendan Rodgers, the 22-year-old has gone on to notch 164 appearances for the Reds.
In that time, he has scored nine goals and provided a stunning 40 assists – almost revolutionising the expectations and demands of a modern, attacking full-back.
Gary Neville has even gone on to give a wonderful assessment of the defender. Taking to Twitter, the former Manchester United suggested that the £99m-rated Red has the potential to become the “best England right back ever”.
It’s a glowing evaluation from Neville, who having patrolled the right-flank for the Red Devils for the best part of 19 years, may know how to spot a quality defender.
To put Alexander-Arnold’s output into context, he now has just eight fewer assists that Neville himself provided throughout his glittering career for both Manchester United and England.
At just the age of 22, the youngster also has an impressive trophy haul.
He played a key role in the Reds’ UEFA Champions League success of 2018/19, even teeing up Divock Origi for a memorable winning strike against Barcelona – awareness that defied his tender years.
He wasn’t done there though as in the time since, he has managed to claim a UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup, as well as of course lifting the Reds’ first-ever Premier League crown.
Just for his sheer contribution thus far, the decision by Klopp to keep his faith in Alexander-Arnold despite Clyne’s return to fitness looks more like a masterstroke with each passing season – and that is surely only going to be exemplified as the young full-back reaches his peak.