Klopp: 'Alexander-Arnold a perfect example for young footballers'

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has challenged his youngsters to show in Wednesday's EFL Cup tie with Arsenal they are ready to become regulars.

Trent Alexander-Arnold with Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp   -  Getty Images

Jurgen Klopp has hailed Trent Alexander-Arnold as the perfect example of how Liverpool's "hungry" youngsters can become first-team regulars.

Alexander-Arnold made his 99th appearance for Liverpool in Sunday's 2-1 win against Tottenham, almost three years to the day since being handed his senior debut against the same opponents in an EFL Cup fourth-round tie.

The England international has gone on to become an integral part of Klopp's plans and was this month named on the 30-man shortlist for the 2019 Ballon d'Or.

"The reason he has achieved this in such a short space of time, one of the four youngest in LFC history I believe, isn't just because he has amazing ability," Klopp told Liverpool's matchday programme.

"It is because of how he has handled himself, taken his chances and dealt with setbacks and difficulties. 

"There won't be a player in our current first-team squad who hasn't faced these challenges at a young age. It is the job of all us to help them and nurture them and give them an environment to grow, develop and flourish. I am confident we are doing this."

Klopp gave competitive debuts to three players in Liverpool's EFL Cup win at MK Dons last month and has hinted he could turn to the youngsters again for Wednesday's last-16 tie with Arsenal.

Caoimhin Kelleher, Ki-Jana Hoever, Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliott and Rhian Brewster all started the 2-0 win in Milton Keynes, while Herbie Kane, Pedro Chirivella and Sepp van den Berg came off the bench.

"Although not certain, the strong likelihood is that a number of our younger players will feature in some capacity," Klopp said.

"The attitude the players showed in the last round is exactly what will be required, if again given the opportunity. 

"They show the right attitude and the perfect amount of hunger each and every day they train with us at Melwood.

"They show us, in their actions, that they understand what an immense privilege it is to represent a club like Liverpool – it's an honour all of us blessed to work here feel.

"Clearly the ability of these players is not in question. It is their talent that has brought them here and kept them here. At this stage of their careers it is about a variety of other factors – and being ready to grasp an opportunity is a big part of it."

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