Trent Alexander-Arnold received praise from manager Jurgen Klopp after the youngster scored for Liverpool against Hoffenheim in UCL playoff game.
Liverpool has been very busy lately with bringing in new players and doing their best to hold on to their top talent. But now it looks like Liverpool may have some players lined up and ready to go to play in the top competitions and they’re players few may have considered.
The 18-year-old got the chance to make his debut in European competitions and made his best with the opportunity. Liverpool has been handed a difficult draw against German side Hoffenheim. They go into the second leg as favorites after having won the first leg with a 2-1 scoreline. Alexander-Arnold was decisive, managing a beautiful goal from a free-kick.
Alexander-Arnold looked to be on shaky ground at times, with his lack of experience showing, but manager Jurgen Klopp was satisfied with his general performance. Klopp called the youngster a “great player” and believes he had an important contribution in securing the team’s victory.
“He is an incredible young player. I have to say for an 18-year-old to have the balls to kick a free-kick like that is more interesting and exciting for me than a little mistake he made,” Klopp commented after the game. “It was an intensive game for him. He has still some things to learn. He thought it was offside but it was obviously not offside, unfortunately. Trent is a great player and I have to say I would rather have 2-1 than 1-0.”
Klopp says that it was his decision that Alexander-Arnold take the freekick after noticing the player practicing extensively after training sessions with Liverpool. “He took it because I told him he has to do it. I don’t take credit for the free-kick because he takes them better than I ever could. But I watched as many under-23 games as I could last season and he took many of the free-kicks then. The goal is the same size even if the wall is not as tall.”
“There is always a big challenge between him and Ben Woodburn with free-kicks after training. It was good. He was lucky the wall didn’t jump but it was a very important moment for us,” Klopp said of Alexander-Arnold’s goal against Hoffenheim.
Liverpool plays the second leg at home and Klopp knows that at the moment the team is far from assured of their place in the next round. He does go on to say that he would have been to win under any scoreline, but that naturally, a goal in the first leg adds pressure to his side.
“If somebody told me we would win tonight we would take each result – even an 8-7 – and so I am happy about the result. No I’m not happy with the goal they scored but I think they deserved the goal for their effort over the 90 minutes,” the German manager says about the result against Bundesliga side Hoffenheim.