TRENT ALEXANDER-ARNOLD had a smile as he revealed the type of messages his friends have been sending him after his recent Champions League displays.
Trent Alexander-Arnold has made 29 appearances for Liverpool in all competitions this season
“There have been loads,” said Liverpool’s rising star, 19, as his thoughts turned to Wednesday’s semi-final second leg against Roma.
“Recently I had loads of things saying I have now played more Champions League games than Everton. That was quite funny. I enjoyed seeing that.”
Alexander-Arnold’s remarkable season has seen him play 10 games in Europe this season, the same number of games the Merseyside rivals Everton have in their history.
When that was pointed out he added: “Oh, well hopefully I play on Wednesday then. If I am picked, I guess it will be a good one to say.”
It may be a harmless bit of fun poked at the blue half of Merseyside but it is a stat that also highlights Alexander-Arnold’s stunning rise this term.
His performances at right-back in the two legs of the quarter-final against Manchester City and last week’s 5-2 win over Roma stand out.
But there was a new test for the 19-year-old on Saturday as manager Jurgen Klopp deployed him in midfield to rest James Milner.
Trent Alexander-Arnold was given a midfield role for Liverpool's clash with Stoke
We are going there with a job to do, to go there and win. That is what we are going there to do.
It has not all been plain sailing though – not least a torrid afternoon against Manchester United last month where he was at fault for at least one of the two goals in their defeat.
“A tough game, a tough day,” he said. “One of those you learn from. The mistakes I made that day I learned from to make sure it does not happen again.”
He is likely to be back at full-back on Wednesday in the Italian capital for what could be the biggest test yet for the England Under-21 in an intimidating atmosphere at the Stadio Olimpico.
“You train all your life – for years – for these types of games and these chances,” he said. “Everything I have done so far is to prepare me for a game like Wednesday.
“We are going there with a job to do, to go there and win. That is what we are going there to do.
Liverpool player ratings against Stoke City
Express Sport rates how the Liverpool players performed during their Premier League clash with Stoke City
“I try not to get fazed. Obviously we know it is going to be an intimidating atmosphere and that is what they will look to do just as our fans did to them.”
Liverpool had a late shout for a penalty denied on Saturday, despite Potters defender Erik Pieters clearly handling.
But struggling Stoke could have nicked all three points had Ryan Shawcross turned in at the back post when Mame Diouf’s shot came his way.
Usually a point at Anfield would be cherished but in their current predicament it may not be enough to help them beat the drop; three points from safety with two games to go.
“Everyone believes if we had played like this all season, we’d be out of it by now,” said midfielder Joe Allen.
“Let’s hope we can get those two wins and then next season move on.”
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