Trent Alexander-Arnold’s brilliant season has now been capped off with a place on the plane to Russia. Gareth Southgate announced his England squad earlier today, revealing the 19-year-old had made the cut. It is the culmination of a brilliant season where the teenager has established himself as a regular in the Liverpool right-back position. His form in the Champions League tie against Manchester City was the highlight of his season so far – unless he goes on to lift the trophy in Kiev later this month.
For Liverpool, it is fantastic news. A local boy comes good story is always appreciated at a club that has brought the football world Michael Owen, Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher.
But one man who might not be enjoying the emergence of Liverpool’s latest teen sensation is team-mate Nathaniel Clyne.
The 27-year-old was a regular in the Liverpool side immediately after making his £12.5 million move from Southampton.
He played 52 times in his debut season at the club and 41 times in 2016-17 and did so brilliantly. The full-back also established himself as a regular England international and one of the best right-backs in the league.
But in the summer he suffered a back injury which ruled him out for much of this season. After returning in March, he has found playing time hard to come by.
Clyne has played just one full 90 minutes of football all season and now finds himself watching on from the bench as his young pretender takes his throne. Not only is that the case for Liverpool either now, it appears the same has happened with England.
As far as Liverpool are concerned it is perfect. They have two brilliant right-back options both capable of playing at the highest level when called upon. There is no doubt the Reds will want to keep them both at Anfield.
But Clyne will surely not want to continue playing second fiddle. At 27 he is reaching the prime of his career and, after a long injury break this season, will want to play regularly again in 2018-19.
This summer, the 27-year-old may have to force a transfer from Liverpool if he wants to play football every weekend.