‘Never had it like that’ — Trent Alexander-Arnold reveals forgotten Man City player who ‘destroyed’ him

The Liverpool vice-captain still remembers being ripped to shreds in his younger days.
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Trent Alexander-Arnold has worked his way to the very top at his boyhood club. After rising through the academy ranks, the Liverpool local has cemented himself as a key player under Jurgen Klopp and is now vice-captain to new skipper Virgil van Dijk.

Since making his senior debut in 2016, the right-back has lifted the Premier League and Champions League trophy with the Reds and is fast-approaching his 300th appearance. But despite establishing himself as one of the strongest and most fluid full-backs in the world, he’s had to work for his chances just like any other player, and learn from pretty humbling experiences early on in his career.

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Alexander-Arnold may be confident handling the world’s most threatening attackers now but his younger years provided plenty of learning curves. While appearing on the We Are Liverpool Podcast, the 25-year-old was asked to name a tough opponent who fans may not know about and he had an answer right away.

“I would say Brandon Barker, he played for [Manchester] City,” Alexander-Arnold admitted. “I was 18 and I played for the [Under] 21s for the first ever time at Anfield. We got beat 3-0 and he scored two and got an assist. He came off at 60 [minutes] and it was, still to this day, the opponent that I think just destroyed me, man.

“I had never had it like that before. At that point I’m thinking this kid is going to be the best player in the world because I’d never seen someone move so quickly and so sharp and effectively.”

Barker started his career at Man City in 2004 as a product of the youth system, and stayed with the club for 15 years. However, the winger was never set for a senior career with his boyhood club. He made just one senior appearance for City and was sent out on loan four times before eventually signing permanently for Rangers in 2019.

Barker last played for Cypriot side AC Omonia after joining on a free transfer from Reading but he was released in August this year and remains without a club.

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