Jürgen Klopp insists Liverpool teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold has plenty to do to fulfil his potential

Jürgen Klopp insists Liverpool teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold has plenty to do to fulfil his potential

After penning a new five-year contract with Liverpool, Jürgen Klopp has hailed Reds youngster Trent Alexander-Arnold but has warned there is still plenty left to do before the defender reaches his peak potential.

charlie-malam
Charlie Malam

Jürgen Klopp says that Trent Alexander-Arnold still has much to do to fulfil his potential at Liverpool after signing a new five-year contract with the club on Friday.

The 18-year-old's progress was rewarded by a fresh long-term deal that improves his terms as he looks to challenge Nathaniel Clyne for the starting right-back spot this coming campaign.

The England youth international made 12 senior appearances for the Reds last term, including seven Premier League outings, after his first-team debut in the EFL Cup against Tottenham Hotspur in October.

A boyhood Liverpool fan, Klopp believes Academy graduate Alexander-Arnold is primed to succeed at Anfield but has plenty of work remaining to live up to his promise.

Contract is an example of this club's desire to reward progression, says Reds boss 

Speaking to Liverpoolfc.com about the teenager, Klopp said: "It is fantastic news and brilliant that the club have again rewarded his progress."

He explained that the club's appeal to young players "with the right attitude" is obvious, saying that "if they commit to their football" then Liverpool will "do well for their present and futures."

Klopp praised Alexander-Arnold and those around him "personally and professionally" for making "such smart decisions", hailing his mix of humility and "big" ambition as "a wonderful mixture."

"The club has made it clear to all our young players that as they grow and improve so will our commitment to them," continued the Reds boss, calling Alexander-Arnold's new deal "an example of that."

Klopp believes that Liverpool "offer opportunity" to young players because it is "key" to what they "believe in", adding: "We also offer a culture where progress is rewarded. Trent has earned this new deal."

"It is a proud day for our Academy as well as for Trent and his family," Klopp said, talking of how the club's colours are "flowing through his veins" and praising the club's youth staff for their part in his development.

"I know moments like this mean a lot to them [the Academy staff]," he added. "They play such an important part in guiding the players to the stage where their opportunity with the first-team set-up comes. Trent has done them proud so far, but both he and they know there is still much to do to fulfil his potential."

Teenager "still at the start of his journey"

Alexander-Arnold has only been in the club's first-team set-up at Melwood for a year - going on to make his first Premier League start at Old Trafford against Manchester United by January. 

Klopp insisted that the player's progress is "entirely with Trent" even if the "coaches, teammates, Academy and development staff" have also "played a part as well."

"But Trent sets the tone for everything he does with his attitude and character," the German stated. "He commits to everything he does. He wants to learn, he wants to grow, he wants to develop and his focus is absolutely in the right place."

Klopp revealed that Alexander-Arnold "embraces being part of the first-team environment" and "never shrinks or hides", though warned: "We must remember he is young and is still at the very start of his journey."

The manager reiterated that he believes Liverpool have "the perfect culture for helping young, talented players" but admitted that "ultimately" it is down to the players themselves, adding: "Trent has had a benchmark attitude so far. The challenge for him now is to maintain this and even improve it."

Klopp: Alexander-Arnold is a "great talent" 

While Klopp has long enthused about Alexander-Arnold's ability and potential, he has also pleaded for patience as the local-born starlet looks to break into the starting eleven on a more consistent basis.

He insisted that it is "critical" that the Reds' No.66 is given time, explaining that he has "continued to grow because he has shown a desire to continue to learn."

Klopp admitted that "there were bumps in the road last season" for Alexander-Arnold but applauded him for the "outstanding" fashion in which he responded.

He added: "There is no pressure on Trent here, except for what he puts on himself. Here [at the club] we are patient. We know there will be more mistakes and more areas for development. We will help him though. He is a great talent."

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