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James Milner: Trent Alexander-Arnold Can '100%' Be World's Best Right-Back

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistDecember 29, 2019

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 22: Joel Matip and James Milner with Trent Alexander-Arnold of Liverpool at full time the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Stamford Bridge on September 22, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images)
James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Liverpool star James Milner has backed his team-mate Trent Alexander-Arnold to become the standout right-back in football.

The Reds have enjoyed a remarkable 2019, with Milner and Alexander-Arnold both making huge contributions to their UEFA Champions League triumph in June. In this campaign, they have a 10-point lead over Leicester City at the top of the table with two games in hand.

Liverpool hammered Leicester 4-0 in their previous outing, with Alexander-Arnold the man of the match. When asked whether the England international can become the best player in the world in his role, Milner was certain the 21-year-old can do it, per John Percy of the Daily Telegraph:

"One hundred per cent. There's a long way to go and we don't want him to get a big head, but he won't because there's plenty of people around him in this dressing room that, if he does, will pop it straight away.

"When you see the amount of games he's played, occasions he's played; Champions League finals, big games, pushing for the league title games, it's just massive experience playing alongside these guys."

In the win over Leicester, Alexander-Arnold was a persistent menace on the right flank, raiding forward with regularity and ingenuity. The Liverpool defender set up two goals before adding the gloss to the scoreline himself:

Per Squawka Football, when the youngster does venture into the final third, his delivery is unerring:

Squawka Football @Squawka

Trent Alexander-Arnold has now provided 16 assists in 32 Premier League games in 2019, at least three more than any other player. Better delivery than Santa Claus. https://t.co/MbD3sPwJ9a

Since breaking into the Liverpool team in 2016, the full-back has gone from strength to strength. Alexander-Arnold's long passing, energy and inventiveness when he does get on the ball makes him one of the most productive attacking players in the league.

There were times earlier in his Liverpool career when Alexander-Arnold showed defensive weaknesses, although they have gradually been ironed out of his play.

Former Republic of Ireland international David Meyler doesn't think there's a better crosser of a ball in the game:

DM @DavidMeyler

Trent Alexander Arnold has the best delivery of a ball in the world 🌍

Football coach Simon Brundish summed up how much Alexander-Arnold has already accomplished in his career:

SimonBrundish @SimonBrundish

When Gerrard was Trents age, he had 11 goals 9assists UEFA Cup League cup FA cups 4 caps Trent has 11 goals 36 assists 9 caps Champions league World club cup European super league

While there are plenty of full-backs who boast superior experience to the Liverpool star, it's difficult to think of a player in his position who is performing to such a high standard as regularly.

For Alexander-Arnold, the challenge will be to continue on this upward trajectory. If he does add more to his game, then there's every chance he can become not only one of the best right-backs but best all-around footballers on the planet.