Liverpool are about to unleash man who can decide destination of Premier League title

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp -Credit:Stu Forster/Getty Images

The setting of Craven Cottage was, with respect, a somewhat low-key venue for Trent Alexander-Arnold's latest impressive milestone.

Having seen Harvey Elliott's attempt to go under the wall from a promising free-kick situation just moments earlier, Alexander-Arnold showed his younger colleague just exactly how it is really done from a dead-ball, curling over the assembly of Fulham players instead to put Liverpool 1-0 up on the day.

It was a stunning set-piece that showcased everything great about the wand that is seemingly attached to the end of the vice-captain's right leg and having seen a wonderful effort taken off him and given to Bernd Leno as own goal in the corresponding fixture at Anfield in December, there was no disputing this one.

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"Bernd asked me after the game: ‘What kind of goals do you always score against us?’" Klopp said. "He probably means against him!

"That’s true, we had a few crazy ones. But we needed it. It was a great goal, the other goals were as good. For a long period of time Trent was exceptional, super-helpful to have him back. Yeah, top. The way we play with him can be different. Nobody is like Trent. Nobody is like Trent.”

It was Alexander-Arnold's 100th goal contribution for Liverpool, which is a remarkable statistic for a player whose primary duties centre around stopping the opposition from scoring.

That, though, is only a theory. Alexander-Arnold may be still viewed as a full-back and his name and image might be stationed on the right side of the back four when the teams sheets and graphics are produced, but he is so much more than that.

Few can strike a ball like Alexander-Arnold in the Liverpool squad but his 19 goals have been dwarfed by the sheer weight of numbers in the assists column, which stands at 79 in total.

When rated alongside the full-backs of Europe's top seven leagues, Alexander-Arnold is in the 100th percentile for progressive passes and inside 90% for Expected Assists. He is also first for long passes, through balls and passes into both the final third and penalty area. One sublimely whipped cross for Luis Diaz should have been rewarded with an early goal on Sunday.

Since the 2017/18 campaign, in fact, Alexander-Arnold is 10 clear of Andy Robertson in second place for most goal contributions from a defender, with the West Derby-born creator now on 73 in total.

The drop-off from Robertson's figure of 63 sees Marcos Alonso in joint-third with 31 alongside Lucas Digne, which only further highlights just how exceptional the Reds' full-backs have been during such a thrilling period under Klopp.

At a time when much of the focus from an attacking point of view has been the sidelined Diogo Jota, Alexander-Arnold's absence over the last couple of months has been felt just as much. With the 25-year-old back in the side, it is no surprise to see them looking much more like a potent force in the final third.

Liverpool may have bowed out of the Europa League in Atalanta on Thursday but back-to-back away victories last week sees them heading to Everton on Wednesday night with renewed belief that they can stay the course to profit from any potential stumbles by Arsenal and Manchester City.

The Reds, in fact, have won seven in their last nine away from home in the Premier League and with another couple outside of the cosy confines of Anfield this week - at Everton and West Ham United - that sort of form will be needed in spades to keep alive those title hopes.

And with Alexander-Arnold back in situ, they have a pursuit of glory that has suddenly become reinvigorated. Because, as Klopp and the numbers insist, there is nobody like him.