Jurgen Klopp names his best ‘signing’ since taking charge at Liverpool
Jurgen Klopp has made some fine signings since his arrival as Liverpool manager.
Sadio Mane, a player he had previously not signed for Borussia Dortmund, was deemed a £30million risk in some quarters when he arrived from Southampton. He is now worth four or five times that amount.
Mohamed Salah, a Chelsea flop who repaired his reputation in Italy, has gone from flying winger to back-to-back golden boot winner and ruthless goalscorer, his transfer value rising similarly.
Virgil van Dijk cost £75million, but has proved worth every penny, the Dutchman having a transformative effect on the side's defence.
There are others too, not least Andy Robertson and Gini Wijnaldum.
There has been a mix of big-money and relative bargains, but few times can the German be accused of wasting the club's cash.
But it's none of those players who stands out in Klopp's mind when asked about his best 'signing' since taking charge at Anfield.
Instead, it's the homegrown product who was brought up from the youth team and has since emerged as one of the best players in his position in world football – and is still only 21.
"It's Trent [Alexander-Arnold]," Klopp tells the Pure Football Podcast.
"We didn't have to buy him but Pep Lijnders my assistant brought him around and said: ‘He played No.6 [role] for me. He played full-back, he played right wing, left wing’.
"Then he came and there was only one problem:Trent was not fit enough.
“But he was a kid so he was not fit enough but we saw immediately, wow, football wise no doubts.
"But [he was] not fit enough so we had to work on that. But then he made steps by himself that were really unbelievable and that was really nice to see.
“Then he made mistakes and didn't give up."
Trent Alexander-Arnold – Per 90mins (PL only)
2018 vs 2019
Crosses: 5.14 | 7.06
Dribbles: 1.74 | 2.11
Shots: 0.9 | 1.12
Touches in box: 1.32 | 1.42
Through Passes: 2.12 | 2.57
Passes into box: 5.76 | 8.21
Shot assists: 1.49 | 2.28
A right-back in name only, Alexander-Arnold has become a key attacking force for the Reds, producing more assists in the Premier League than any other player in the last two seasons.
His defensive nous, considered his Achilles heel in his early days, has also vastly improved.
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