Trent Alexander-Arnold has experienced a remarkable rise over the past two years or so. After establishing himself in the Liverpool team during the second half of the 17/18 season, he has gone on to become perhaps the most dominant fullback in world football.
That is no small feat for a 21-year old, especially one who did not start playing at right back until he was around 16.
The player has recently spoken about how he and teammate Andy Robertson want to change the way we look at fullbacks in the sport, and it is fair to say the two are adding an extra dimension to the position in a manner we have rarely seen before.
One player who could rival that pair is Cafu. The Brazilian right back was perhaps the best player in that position of his generation, winning 142 caps for his country (the most capped Brazilian of all-time) and captaining them to victory at the 2002 World Cup.
He is a big fan of the Liverpool man. Speaking to The Mirror, he said that Alexander-Arnold could be a future Ballon d'Or winner, saying he could change how we view defenders in football:
I think Alexander-Arnold is one of the best in the world, no doubt about it. He’s a great player – and I would say he has the same characteristics as I did.
He has got big potential. He is strong and skilful, he really takes the game forward and he’s a player who sets up goals for Liverpool .
So, yes, I can see lots of similarities between him and me when I was playing. I would say he’s got a Brazilian instinct in the way he plays.
My advice for him is simple: just keep doing what you have been doing for the last few years.
Alexander-Arnold shouldn’t change his way of playing. Even if he makes mistakes, he should carry on doing what he’s doing.
I think he has what it takes to become a Ballon d’Or winner.
We have to change this paradigm where the Ballon d’Or is only won by attackers and strikers. People have to see that defenders are just as important as attackers.