Liverpool news: Alexander-Arnold prepares to cope with PSG’s Neymar, Cavani and Mbappe | Football | Sport
But how will they fare on Tuesday night, when the supercharged trio of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani, bought at a combined cost of a staggering £368million, are racing at them from every angle at Anfield?
Liverpool’s opening Champions League group clash against Paris St-Germain is a showdown to savour for the side that reached the final last season.
The French team have begun this season in invincible fashion, with Neymar and Mbappe scoring goals galore and Cavani also hitting the net on his return from a World Cup injury.
They are surely the most formidable forward line in the world game right now, and if money talked PSG would be unbeatable – even though Liverpool have spent £127m on improving their defence in the past year.
Instead there will be huge fascination to see how the young stars of Anfield – like Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez and Andrew Robertson – will deal with the threat of Neymar and company.
The prospect will not faze them and, as Alexander-Arnold revealed, their burning ambition is to win the great European trophy that just eluded them last season.
“Every season we’re in, we want to go forward and win it, and hopefully this year we’ll be able to,” said the teenager who also went to the World Cup with England.
“We showed last year how much it meant to us, and how much of a bond we made with the fans, especially in that tournament.
“It’s always a massive competition for us and we’ve got a really good link between the Champions League and the club. We have a special history.”
Liverpool’s progress to last season’s final was peppered with several spellbinding nights at Anfield, not least the quarter-final defeat of favourites Manchester City, when Alexander-Arnold came of age.
The 19-year-old said: “You don’t really think about it when you’re playing but maybe two or three weeks after the dust settled I was able to look back and think, ‘Yeah, it was the probably the best night I have had as a footballer’. I was made up to part of such a special night at Anfield. It was a dream come true.”
A key moment in Liverpool’s defeat to Real Madrid in the final was the injury to talisman striker Mohammed Salah following a foul tackle by Spanish defender Sergio Ramos. The cynicism of the foul rankled with many but Alexander-Arnold also saw how crucial the overall play of Ramos was.
“Everyone has their way of winning and he’s shown over the last 10 years that he’s a winner,” said the Liverpool full-back.
“He’s won multiple trophies, and I think it’s worked for him and his team for many years – and to win the Champions League three times in a row takes some doing. You don’t do that with average players – you do it with the best in the world.
“He’s shown over the last 10 years why he’s probably the best centre-back in the world.
“Even if he was the enemy in the final, you still respect him as a player.”
These words should delight Liverpool fans as they reveal a young player swiftly learning all the valuable lessons required for success at the top-level.
Such maturity will certainly be needed to deal with the threat posed by Neymar and his pals this week.