Trent Alexander-Arnold has described his Liverpool debut as the proudest moment of his career, while revealing how his mum ‘broke down in tears’ ahead of his Premier League debut in 2017.
A part of the Reds academy since the age of six, Alexander-Arnold has become one of the best full-backs in the world since getting his big break under Jurgen Klopp three years ago.
The West Derby-born star has won the Champions League, Premier League and Club World Cup with Liverpool, establishing himself as England’s first choice, being nominated for the Ballon d’Or and assisting a defender. A new record has been set. All this has made him a local hero on Merseyside.
The Trent Alexander-Arnold mural in Liverpool near Anfield / Clive Brunskill / Getty Images
Although now one of the first names on any Liverpool team sheet, 21-year-old Alexander-Arnold revealed how his first Premier League start (15 January 2017 against United) came as something of a shock.
“We trained on Saturday, and then traveled to Manchester and stayed,” Alexander-Arnold said of his rise to Red Bull Pro. “Just a normal match day. And then we walked in about three hours before kick-off, and the manager came up to me and put his arm around me and said, ‘Are you ready?’
“I was very confused. He said: ‘Are you in?’ I said yes, yes and he said: ‘Okay, well I need you to start today.’ “My face fell, that’s how I felt, I was so shocked. I went back to my room and called my mom and she literally cried,” she said.
As the most successful academy graduate at Anfield since Steven Gerrard, Alexander-Arnold revealed how he was nervous about breaking into the first-team ranks and was helped by captain Jordan Henderson.
“I was star-struck, I was nervous, I was really shy. Everyone tried to help me, they all understood how nerve-racking it was,” she admitted.
“Hendo was older. I’ve never had a great relationship with any of the guys because I’ve always been quiet, but he made me comfortable with the guys around him.
Trent Alexander-Arnold on his Premier League debut against Manchester United / Mike Hewitt / Getty Images
“He didn’t make me afraid to make mistakes, and not feel like I wasn’t as talented as the other guys. After that I wasn’t thinking too much about asking for the ball…so I took more risks and Doing so made me a better player.
Liverpool drew 1-1 at Old Trafford on Alexander-Arnold’s Premier League debut, while the 18-year-old will play 12 times in all competitions in 2016/17 at right-back.
Jordan Henderson has played a big role in helping Trent Alexander-Arnold reach the first team / Alex Pantling/Getty Images
However, his first Liverpool senior outing in any competition – a 2-1 EFL Cup win over Tottenham in October 2016 – remains the proudest moment of his career.
He recalled: “They named the team. [against Tottenham] And I was starting, and I remember being really confused because I wasn’t expecting it.
CHAMPIONS!!!! ?? #YNWA pic.twitter.com/uqcEenccRR
— Trent Alexander Arnold (@trentaa98) June 26, 2020
“It was very nerve-racking because you’ve never played in front of 50-55,000 people before. But it was one of the best days of my life.
“I feel like my debut was the proudest for me because, although I always dreamed of winning the Champions League and winning trophies, first of all, you need to make your debut and I knew that a “Once I played the game, I was a Liverpool player. Nobody can ever take that away from me.”