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Trent Alexander-Arnold: Liverpool aims, intense coaching and Spurs

The last two years have been a time to savour for Trent Alexander-Arnold. After making his Premier League debut in December 2016, he has started a Champions League final, played at a World Cup with England and become a Liverpool first-team regular.

Ahead of Liverpool’s trip to Tottenham on Saturday, live on Sky Sports, he has been talking about his proudest moment, his competitive nature, how intense coaching methods have helped him improve, and his wishlist for the next 10 years.Here’s what the 19-year-old told Sky Sports in an exclusive interview

In the last six months you have played in a Champions League final and been part of the World Cup campaign in Russia. How much has your game developed and you as a person too?

Alexander-Arnold: “Those kind of experiences don’t really come round to young players too often and I have been grateful and fortunate for the opportunities that have been given to me and it’s given me chances to improve and get to know myself as a player and a person.

“Putting yourself in high pressure situations is probably the best way of getting out the real you. Playing in a Champions League final is a dream come true and hopefully I get to play in a few more.”

You turn 20 next month and have already achieved so much. What’s on your wishlist for your 20s?

Alexander-Arnold: “Silverware is the main thing, to win as many trophies as possible, especially this year with the club, and going forward internationally as well.”

You’ve spoken before about the importance of your family on your career and how at the World Cup that made you proud…

Alexander-Arnold: “That’s the most proud I have been. Seeing my family at the World Cup and them being able to watch me play and making them proud of me. Probably the best thing for me to hear from my family is telling me that they are proud. To be able to see them smile is a great thing.”

You have said your composure is so much better this season and the coaches have been working one-on-one with you and some of their methods have been quite testing?

Alexander-Arnold: “It’s the high pressure situations that bring out the real you. In training you can push yourself to the limit and test yourself against the best players in the world. That is when the pressure is really on and they are the moments when you either improve or you don’t. It’s the way your mindset is – you can easily give up and not try and improve or you can keep pushing forward and think you still have a lot more to give. It’s important, especially for young players, to have the mindset of trying to get better every day. ”

How have the team worked with you behind the scenes?

Alexander-Arnold: “It probably started at the academy with Alex Inglethorpe [academy director] and Neil Critchley [academy coach]. All three of us had our sights set on me coming up here full-time and trying to be part of the first-team squad and we discussed the things that might hold me back and it was my mindset at the time and how in tough situations I would crumble.

“I didn’t like losing too much and I would be a sore loser, so they would put me in situations where we would effectively not like each other for days because they would hammer me so much just try to get into my head every day. With their help and the way they went about it was perfect for me. They knew what I didn’t like and they made me put myself in those situations on a daily basis. Until you can control those things and control your emotions you won’t be a top player. ”

I didn’t like losing too much and I would be a sore loser, so they would put me in situations where we would effectively not like each other for days because they would hammer me so much just try to get into my head every day

What’s the chemistry like with the back four?

Alexander-Arnold: “We are all mates and have banter. You don’t see them as team-mates, you see them as mates which makes it easier to speak to and if you have problems you are not afraid to speak to someone and it feels natural at the minute. If we keep going this way hopefully it will bring success.”

Jurgen Klopp seems like a very vocal manager. How does that help you develop? And during games do you like hearing his voice or sometimes do you want to block it out?

Alexander-Arnold: “The advice that he gives you can’t take for granted because you know it’s right. He is one of the best in the world and every time he says something I try to listen and apply it to the game. Sometimes you don’t agree it with it but you know it’s for the greater good of the team and if he wants you to do something it’s best you do it.”

You play Tottenham this weekend and Lucas Moura was named the player of the month in August. What do you make of him as a player?

Alexander-Arnold: “He is a top player. This season he has shown the quality he always had. Last season he never really hit the heights he might have wanted but this season he has shown he is hungry for goals and to help his team. He is a threat and we need to look out for him.”

Do you thrive in the situations where you have a dangerman to look out for?

Alexander-Arnold: “You are a defender so you try to stop them from scoring. It’s good to challenge yourself against the best attacks in the league and Tottenham are one of them. We will be challenged all the way on Saturday and our concentration will be tested for the full 90 minutes and hopefully we will come out on top.”

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