Trent Alexander-Arnold has been channelling Steven Gerrard ever since signing £26million Predator boot deal – is it time to fulfil his destiny as Reds legend’s replacement?

Arlo Gibbons
Trent Alexander-Arnold has been channelling Steven Gerrard
ever since signing £26million Predator boot deal – is it time to
fulfil his destiny as Reds legend’s replacement?


Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but Trent Alexander-Arnold has been doing his best Steven Gerrard impression since signing his new adidas boot deal.

The right-back has followed in the Anfield legend’s footsteps by becoming an adidas Predator athlete, and now he’s filling his boots as his spiritual successor in midfield.

Trent-alexander-arnold-Liverpool-celebrates-863856991.jpg?strip=all&w=960″ alt=”” width=”960″ height=”640″>Alexander-Arnold is beginning to fill Gerrard’s boots in midfield – wearing the same Predators his hero made history inGetty

Alexander-Arnold had football fans of a certain age weak at the knees when he stepped onto the pitch wearing a throwback pair of white Predators for the first time against Man City – complete with fold-over tongue and everything.

They are in fact the newest model of the fabled boot, which harks back to the glory days of Gerrard, David Beckham, Alessandro del Piero and Zinedine Zidane – with Real Madrid star Jude Bellingham also rocking a pair.

Better yet is that Trent scored a vital equaliser in a 1-1 draw against Liverpool’s title rivals with a goal Gerrard would have been proud of, with his performances since pulling on his new Preds leading to questions over whether he is the true successor to Gerrard in Liverpool’s midfield.

While Gareth Southgate has no hesitation to play him in a more central role for England, Jurgen Klopp has distanced himself from the pressure of changing the defender’s position.

The German once said he ‘didn’t understand’ why he would ‘make the best right-back in the World a midfielder’, but it has been clear for some time that Alexander-Arnold’s strengths are in attack, not in defence.

He was described as the ‘heartbeat’ of Klopp’s Liverpool 2.0 on Match of the Day over the weekend, with clear comparisons to Gerrard made – so perhaps it’s time for the Reds boss to have a rethink?

Following the draw with City, Liverpool ran out winners in a seven-goal thriller with Fulham and, again, Trent was the catalyst.

Not only did he get the scoring underway with a worldie free-kick Beckham himself would have been proud of  – which officially went down as a Bernd Leno own-goal, but the Reds star insisted he was claiming it – it was the decision to move Alexander-Arnold into a more central role in the second-half that led to the Merseysiders turning the game around and getting three points.

Alexander-Arnold’s stats from three games since signing for adidasLiverpool-FC-Premier-League_SPO_GYI1813140796jpg-JS861926598.jpg?strip=all&w=960″ alt=”” width=”960″ height=”740″>Trent’s new adidas Predators are a throwback to their 2000s hay dayGetty

Joe Gomez was brought on to fill the right-back spot and give Alexander-Arnold the creative freedom he craves, and he evoked memories of Gerrard by conjuring an 88th minute winner from the edge of the box.

In a game of four sublime long-range goals, he – although unofficially – grabbed two of them, and he wasn’t done there, as he provided a cheeky assist for Virgil van Dijk’s opening goal of a 2-0 win over Sheffield United in their following match.

Gerrard famously wore Predator boots in his heydayGetty

That’s three games wearing the playmaker’s favourite boot, with three goals, one assist and more calls for him to be permanently switched to a midfield role – it’s fair to say the decision to hand him a reported £26million to become an adidas athlete is already paying off.

His multi-year contract with the German sportswear giants puts the Liverpool vice-captain up there with Neymar, Erling Haaland, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in football’s biggest-money boot deals. He’s even got a brand spanking new all-red version to show off his club’s colours.

After a long-standing partnership with Under Armour, Alexander-Arnold is now back in the boots he wore throughout his Liverpool academy days where he dreamed of emulating Gerrard.

‘Whenever I had the ball at my feet, I made sure I had those boots on,” he said in his wholesome launch video, which featured a young actor playing Trent as a boy.

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Trent.jpg?strip=all&w=960″ alt=”” width=”960″ height=”744″>Trent’s latest Predators have a strong Liverpool vibeInstagram: @trentarnold66

“Istanbul was what really inspired me back then. That game, those players, the boots. Those boots never left my bag. I guess I always knew I’d be back someday.”

Just a lad from Liverpool dreaming of following his heroes – now he’s doing it for real.

His effectiveness in this hybrid role is proof Klopp’s side has changed. No longer are they reliant on their full-backs playing provider from wide areas, Liverpool’s rebuilt midfield means they are playing through the centre of the pitch more often.

Alexander-Arnold’s heat maps of recent games show just how much he influences midfield

They have a host of talent in that area, with summer acquisitions Dominik Szoboszlai and Alexis Mac Allister offering attacking flair while Ryan Gravenberch and Wataru Endo give the team some defensive stability, while they also have Harvey Elliott and Curtis Jones pushing for opportunities.

But Trent perhaps offers the most cutting-edge in the final third when he drifts into that midfield sweet spot. Opponents don’t know how to handle him, and give him enough space in and around the box and he will punish you – whether that’s providing a pinpoint accurate pass or finding the net himself.

Perhaps it’s time for Klopp to begin his search for a new right-back – Predators were made for midfielders.


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