Trent Alexander-Arnold: England's World Cup hope who pretended to be Steven Gerrard in his local park and is now on the verge of Champions League glory with Liverpool

Those were the words of the then 16-year-old Trent Alexander-Arnold as he prepared to play for England at the 2015 Under-17s World Cup in Chile.

Fast-forward three years and now the Liverpool star who grew up pretending to be Steven Gerrard in his local park could be on the verge of emulating his hero for both club and country.

The Anfield legend represented the Three Lions at three World Cups.

Now the uncapped Alexander-Arnold, 19, is about to follow in his footsteps after Gareth Southgate named him in his England squad for Russia 2018.

The teenager told previously: "I always used to pretend to be Stevie G when I was playing as a kid as he is a scouser. Everyone looks up to him – I don’t think there is any footballer that doesn’t recognise his talent and what he has done for his club and country at World Cups."

But before the showpiece event gets underway, Alexander-Arnold has another opportunity to achieve something Stevie G did too – winning the Champions League with Liverpool.

The Reds travel to Kiev a week on Saturday to take on the mighty Real Madrid as they search for their sixth Euro crown.

JUR JOKING Klopp reveals how he broke the news to Alexander-Arnold he was in England's World Cup squad

Few could blame Alexander-Arnold for pinching himself as he prepares for a massive few weeks, but as his performances in Europe and the Premier League show, he is not one to let things get on top of him.

It has not always been plain sailing for the versatile ace on his rise from promising youngster to the top.

As with most teenagers there have been the odd dip in form and moments of madness.

His new England team-mate Marcus Rashford got the better of him at Old Trafford as Liverpool were defeated by Manchester United in March.

How did he respond to such a setback? Simple – he marked Man City livewire Leroy Sane out of the game to help his side progress in Europe shortly afterwards.

While playing for England U17s, after being provoked on several occasions, he was sent-off for lashing out with a reckless tackle on a Brazilian opponent.

Alexander-Arnold was also booked for a naughty challenge on Tottenham's Ben Davies on his Liverpool debut.

But Jurgen Klopp knows a player when he sees one, and after no doubt plenty of one-on-one work with the prodigy, the defender's temperament can no longer be questioned.

He has only been cautioned five times out of his 30 appearances this season and is now firmly a trusted lieutenant of the Kop boss.

And he is clearly valued by his team-mates also, with the Liverpool squad voting him as their Young Players' Player of the Year.

His performances in the Champions League must have played a huge role in Southgate's decision to give him the nod to – with 40 tackles and interceptions, no defender has made more in the competition this season.


DATE OF BIRTH: 7 October 1998


CLUB: Liverpool


POSITION: Right-back, Midfield



INTERNATIONAL: England U21 (Three caps), U19 (10 caps, seven goals), U18 (Two caps), U17 (11 caps), U16 (Six caps)


It's not just Alexander-Arnold's defensive work that has made him a favourite.

His deliveries from wide right have also caught the eye and led to several assists for his colleagues.

And then there is his set-piece ability. Who can forget his coming of age nine months ago in the Champions League play-off clash against Hoffenheim.

Despite a number of team-mates around him, Alexander-Arnold took responsible and curled a superb 30-yard free-kick straight into the bottom corner.

Clubs across Europe would love to have the youngster amongst their ranks, but after being handed a new long-term contract last summer, his development is set to continue at Anfield for some time to come.

And it just goes to show what the luck of the draw can do for you.

If Merseyside legend is true, his path to the World cup and Reds first-team all began when his name was drawn from hat at his St. Matthews Catholic Primary School as a six-year-old to attend a summer training camp.

It did not take long for the academy coach Ian Barrigan to spot his potential.

And it might not be too long before the whole world knows who Trent Alexander-Arnold is.

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