‘He was different to anyone we had’: Former Liverpool youth coach Michael Beale knew Trent Alexander-Arnold would become a star the moment he saw him play for Reds’ academy side
- Michael Beale touted Trent Alexander-Arnold to become a star at age of just 14
- He said the defender excited him and stood out above every other player there
- Alexander-Arnold has surpassed his expectations already achieving what he has
- Star has made 125 Reds appearances, scoring six goals and providing 34 assists
Former Liverpool youth team coach Michael Beale touted Trent Alexander-Arnold as the next big thing from the moment he saw him play at centre back for the Reds’ Under 14 academy side.
At just 21 years old, Liverpool defender Alexander-Arnold has already achieved almost everything that a young academy player dreams of in his entire career and Beale reveals he saw it all coming.
Alexander-Arnold has become an influential figure in Liverpool’s Champions League-winning side and has contributed masterfully to the team that went over a whole calendar year unbeaten in the Premier League.
Michael Beale touted Trent Alexander-Arnold as a star thing after watching him play at 14
He has become an influential figure in Liverpool’s Champions League-winning side since
Beale, who had been involved at the Reds’ academy since September 2012 after leaving Chelsea, helped Alexander-Arnold break into the first-team in 2016 and has since watched with pride as he has grown into one of the most talented youngsters in world football.
‘I saw him on my first day there in the Under-14s as a central defender, and he was different to anyone we [Chelsea] had,’ Beale told Goal.
‘On my first day at Liverpool, they asked me which players did I like. I said I liked Trent and I thought he will play in the first team because when I looked across the pitches, he excited me as he was standing out above everyone else.
‘I didn’t know he would make it and at times I thought maybe I said that too early as he definitely had things to work on. He is lucky to have a good support network around him with his mum Diane. His brothers also really help him.
‘He kept his support network small, which helps keep out noise and influence apart from his family and the people in the club. I think there was a lot of work he had to do. A bit like Mason Mount and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, I kept thinking, “Wow, what will he become?” rather than “wow, what is he now?”
‘He has surpassed my expectations already. What my advice to Trent would be now is that you have achieved a lot early, but it is only five per cent of what you wanted to achieve. It is important that his success makes him hungry and I think it does. He has the same look in his eye that he had at 16 that he is hungry and he wants to get better. He makes me smile.’
Beale says Alexander-Arnold has surpassed his expectations already achieving what he has
Beale has worked with Chelsea stars like Tammy Abraham during his time at their academy
The 21-year-old has already made 125 appearances for the Reds, scoring six goals and providing 34 assists.
Many believe the 21-year-old is re-inventing the right back position with his style of play; his attacking prowess and crossing ability is proving to be second to none.
Despite this, Alexander-Arnold believes he has plenty of improving to do.
‘I love playing football, but I would say I haven’t reached my full potential at all. So, until then there is no point putting a label on where I am because I’m not where I need to be and where I can be. I still have a lot of improving to do and a lot of hard work to be put in.’
Fikayo Tomori was also coaches by Beale and went on to make his senior England debut
Beale, who now works at as Steven Gerrard’s first-team coach at Rangers, has worked with Tammy Abraham, Fikayo Tomori, Mason Mount and Harry Wilson during his roles in the youth set-ups at Chelsea and Liverpool.
Abraham went on to break into Chelsea’s first-team and is now sat at the top of the Premier League goalscoring charts, alongside Sergio Aguero.
He was called up to the senior England side for two friendlies against Germany and Brazil. He later went on to be named in the England squad for Euro 2020 qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Bulgaria.
Tomori, 21, was given his chance by Frank Lampard and put in a series of confident displays that led to Gareth Southgate taking notice and calling him up to the squad, handing him his first cap against Kosovo.
Mason Mount, meanwhile, was another one of many youngsters to have earned a spot in Gareth Southgate’s latest England squad.