‘Face of this club’ Alexander-Arnold will be future Liverpool captain

Academy graduate Alexander-Arnold skippered the Reds for the first time in the 1-1 Champions League draw in midweek as regular captain Jordan Henderson started from the bench.

It was the latest landmark occasion for the England right-back, who joined Liverpool aged six and made his first-team debut in 2016.

Alexander-Arnold has since played 102 Premier League matches, scoring six goals and providing 27 assists from 174 chances created.

Since his top-flight bow, no defender in the competition has forged more opportunities for team-mates, while only Liverpool colleague Andy Robertson (33) has laid on more assists.

The 22-year-old’s appearance in Denmark was his 32nd in the Champions League and this longevity gave Klopp a “logical” decision when naming his captain – a role Alexander-Arnold is set to become used to when Henderson retires.

Klopp explained: “German and English people are really similar – we have a few differences. But how you see the captaincy here in this country is completely different to Germany.

“I try to understand it, even though I spent the most time educated a different way. Being a captain, it’s not so important who wears the armband, it’s more important how you behave all around.

“And yes, Trent is somebody who will be in this kind of role in the future. All the younger boys in the team have a similar pathway to his pathway, 100 per cent.

“The reason [he was captain]? I didn’t think he was the best leader in the line-up of the last game, he’s the longest in the club. When the players come, the four captains, it’s clear that it’s not even a decision, it’s Trent.

“When I told him, it means a lot to him – that’s cool and it will be his role in the future when other people have finished their careers and stuff like this.

“He prepares himself already for this. He will be in the future the face of this club, with some others hopefully, one of the faces of this club. That’s really nice.

“When I realised how much it meant to him, I was really happy. I made the decision, but the decision was a logical one because of the time he was in the club.”

Alexander-Arnold’s defensive colleague Virgil van Dijk would certainly be considered a leader, but Klopp says he has not asked the injured centre-back to offer advice to his deputies – including versatile midfielder Fabinho.

Liverpool have not lost any of the six league games Van Dijk has missed this season, earning more points (2.3) and conceding fewer goals (0.7) per game in his absence than with the former Southampton man involved (2.0 and 2.6 respectively).

“Virgil was the first few weeks after he got injured not in a situation to talk to people and to tell them how to play the centre-half position,” the manager said.

“Now he is back here and it’s all different and he’s fine. He was around the last game against Wolves, which was really nice.

“Now the boys speak to each other, but what they speak about to each other, I don’t know, you’ll have to ask them.

“But I didn’t ask Virg to explain to the other guys the centre-half position. So far that’s my job and we did that as good as we could.”

In fact, Klopp suggested with a smile his own vocal approach might have played a role in convincing Fabinho to join the club in 2018.

“I couldn’t tell you what I said to him, because it’s too long ago,” he said. “But it was obviously convincing enough, so it came together.

“I remember actually – I have to picture in my mind when I met him first – a pretty shy boy.

“Maybe he thought it would be the best to be around a pretty vocal, loud manager. That might have been the reason why he joined us.”

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