Ben Woodburn may have stolen all of the headlines as the youngster potted the winner against Leeds United to become Liverpool’s youngest ever goalscorer, but he wasn’t the only bit of academy talent on display as the Reds set up a meeting with Southampton in the semi-finals of the League Cup with 18-year old Trent Alexander-Arnold putting in a Man of the Match performance at Anfield on Tuesday.
“I think we now know why Jurgen Klopp went in with only one recognised right-back this season. His performance tonight, and again against Spurs, I think we know now,” enthused Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher. “Sometimes you just look at a younger player and they look like an athlete. It’s perfect for the full-back position, and you think he’s 18 now, imagine what he’ll be like in four years’ time,” mused the Sky Sports pundit. “He looks like he’s already got the legs and the pace, the strength is going to come now too.”
Considering the Reds boss made 8-changes to the side that beat Sunderland at the weekend and stacked it full of youngsters and fringe players, the hosts did well to contain the Championship side and dominate proceedings. Though they were lacking a bit of a cutting edge, it was only a matter of time before they found the breakthrough and Alexander-Arnold was in the thick of things with the fullback whipping in the cross that Divock Origi would poke home to send the Kop in to hysterics.
“Clyne is an England right-back now, Trent Arnold has a long way to go, but if you’re going to have an 18-year-old as your second choice, with the size of the club and with Liverpool fighting on all fronts, it shows the faith Jurgen Klopp has got in him,” continued Carragher. “It’s massive credit to Jurgen Klopp, and the academy staff in Alex Inglethorpe, Steve Heighway, but never, ever forget it’s still the player who has got to do it on the pitch,” added the former Reds defender, doing his best to keep expectations in check. “He’s played twice and has been outstanding.”