Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold modelling himself on ‘exceptional’ Stones

Liverpool star Trent Alexander-Arnold has revealed he is modelling his game on Manchester City rival John Stones. He admits he is a long-term admirer of his England team-mate following a change in role for both club and country.

Alexander-Arnold has taken on the modern style of a full-back by inverting into midfield. Jurgen Klopp identified his passing range and quality on the ball as the ideal player for that position at Liverpool.

In similar fashion, Stones is asked to venture into midfield by Pep Guardiola at City, often from a starting centre-back position. Alexander-Arnold says the 29-year-old’s new lease of life has inspired his game.

He said: “I think as someone who plays the inverted, hybrid role – I don’t know what people call it these days – then it is obviously John Stones. He’s someone who, for a long time, I have admired his game.

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“He is exceptional, so I watch him a lot. Clips or even when I’m just watching City’s games, I’ll sit and focus on him. I’ve always admired him.

“I do admire the way Rodri plays. He is pivotal in that team and someone who is massively underrated. We’ve seen recently when you have him out of the team, they’re not the same. That just shows how important he is.

“I’d say it’s those kind of players I watch, but there are a lot. I’ll watch players from the past as well – [Sergio] Busquets, [Xabi] Alonso, [Andrea] Pirlo, Stevie G [Gerrard]- those players I’ve always enjoyed watching.”

Alexander-Arnold still has defensive duties to carry out when Liverpool don’t have the ball. Klopp still requires the 25-year-old to play as a right-back out of possession.

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He added: “I think the way I see it, and the way I’m told and explained to play it, it’s almost when we have the ball, I’m a midfielder and when we don’t have the ball, I’m a right-back. Half of the time, or 60 per cent of the game, I’m playing in midfield so naturally people warm to the idea of me playing in the middle of the pitch.

“Defensively I haven’t been given the opportunity to know how to play there just yet, but it’s something I study. I enjoy learning about the game, watching things, watching players, different systems, different teams, how different players play it and there are some players who play it really well.”

Alexander-Arnold is considered as a midfielder by Gareth Southgate, however, although he doesn’t see much difference between the roles. He said: “The conversations I’ve had with the manager and the staff there, I go there as a midfielder.

“I’m not playing midfield week in, week out at Liverpool, but I’m getting on the ball in central areas and knowing how to receive and conduct yourself and play a game in midfield, is a lot different to at the side of the pitch.”

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