Former Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva says he and his team-mates were never in doubt that Trent Alexander-Arnold would become one of the world’s best players.
The 21-year-old’s remarkable performances from right-back have seen him talked about as possibly the world’s top player in his position. Alexander-Arnold has registered 30 assists for Liverpool since the start of last season in all competitions, while his side also boast the best defensive record in the Premier League.
Now at Lazio, Lucas spent a decade on Merseyside and says he remembers seeing Alexander-Arnold as a youngster.
"Well, I remember a few moments of Trent,” Lucas told LFCTV. “I remember he came with us to play in a friendly game and I think he was 16. He was very shy and Brendan [Rodgers] was in charge.
"I remember he wasn't comfortable but we could see he was at a different level, I would say, for his age, his quality on the ball.
"So after he started to train with us in the first team he waited patiently, but we were sure that he would be a Liverpool player and he would be one of the best players in the world. I was sure because you just could see on a daily basis how many qualities he had, his crosses and his passing. He is just a complete full-back."
Alexander-Arnold made his Liverpool debut in a 2-1 League Cup win over Tottenham in October 2016, appearing for the first time in the Premier League two months later. He now has 125 appearances to his name, world and European medals in his trophy cabinet, and nine international caps under his belt.
"Of course, he still has to improve a lot but he's already done amazing seasons,” Lucas added. "I think the last two seasons he has been a star player. Trent is a good boy, he's a Liverpool boy and we can see how much he enjoys playing for Liverpool.
"I always try to help the young players – I think it's important to make them feel comfortable and after it's up to them to learn and improve."