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Trent Alexander-Arnold's 40th Premier League assist puts him in esteemed company


Alexander-Arnold provided the assist for Virgil van Dijk’s goal in the thrashing of Southampton, a win that moved Liverpool up to second in the Premier League table

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Jurgen Klopp post Southampton press conference

Liverpool’s thrashing of Southampton has seen Trent Alexander-Arnold join some esteemed Premier League company.

The Englishman has become a creative forced since suffering the injury that ruled him out of the draw with Manchester City back in early October.

He has been a key part of the Liverpool side that has lost just once since he returned to action, helping the Reds to six wins in all competitions.

That run has seen Jurgen Klopp’s men secure their place in the knockout stages of the Champions League as group winners, as well as close the gap on league leaders Chelsea to one point.

Their excellent form continued at Anfield on Saturday, where Ralph Hassenhutl’s Southampton side were hammered by the Reds.

HAVE YOUR SAY! Is Trent Alexander-Arnold the best right-back in the Premier League? Comment below.






Trent Alexander-Arnold notched the 40th Premier League assist of his career on Saturday

Alexander-Arnold was selected at right-back for the Premier League clash and played a key role in the win.

The hosts had gone three goals up before half-time as they were utterly dominant on Merseyside.

Any hopes of a Southampton comeback were buried seven minutes into the second period when Liverpool won a corner.

Alexander-Arnold stepped up to take the set-piece, sending an inch-perfect cross to Virgil van Dijk who was hovering on the penalty spot.

The Dutchman fired in a first-time finish to secure all three points for Klopp’s side, which sent them up to second place in the top-flight.

That was the right-back’s 40 th assist in the Premier League since making his debut in the competition in December 2016.

He has joined esteemed company in reaching that landmark at such a young age, with Alexander-Arnold current 23 years and 51 days old.

Just two players have notched 40 Premier League assists at a younger age than the Liverpool star.

The second youngest is Wayne Rooney, who was 22 years and 200 days old when he reached that landmark across spells at Everton and Manchester United.







Wayne Rooney is one of only two players to reach the landmark at a younger age than Alexander-Arnold
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Image:

AFP/Getty Images)

But the youngest by some distance is Cesc Fabegras, who was just 21 years and 188 days old when he notched 40 Premier League assists, all with Arsenal.

It is no surprise to see Alexander-Arnold joining Fabegras and Rooney, with the Liverpool star having broken the record for league assists by a defender twice in successive seasons.

He has already notched 10 in all competitions this term, including seven in the Premier League alone, which puts him on pace for his best season yet.

Heading into the visit of Southampton, Alexander-Arnold had been averaging an Expected Assists ratio of 0.5, more than double his average from 2019.

That figure will only have improved following Saturday’s game and it was an average that saw him lead the way in the Premier League.

Reece James is the next highest defender with an xA ratio of 0.37 per 90 minutes, with Reds team-mate Mohamed Salah second with an average of 0.41.

While a gap of 0.09 may not sound like much, it means that Salah would need to create three or four extra golden opportunities every 10 games to catch up.

The Premier League record for assists is 20, set by Thierry Henry in 2002/2003 and Kevin de Bruyne in 2019/2020, a record that could be smashed by Alexander-Arnold.

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