When Jason McAteer donned the red of Liverpool, he glided up the right wing with aplomb, his marauding runs putting fear into opposition defenders.
The former Irish international established himself as Liverpool’s most natural attacking wing-back during his five seasons at Anfield.
Now, twenty years on from his days on Merseyside, the 48-year-old is highly impressed with the creativity instilled in Liverpool’s full-backs under Jurgen Klopp.
Trent Alexander-Arnold, along with Andrew Robertson, are statistically the most creative players in the Premier League.
The former, in particular, is enjoying a stunning start to the campaign and is rightly earning praise for some superb performances on both domestic and European stages.
“His progression is a very quick one and it’s been phenomenal. He likes to go forward. He’s always got a lot of runners and options ahead of him,” said McAteer, speaking at DHL Swing against Cancer event in Dubai.
“He’s been given his opportunity from a slight bit of luck and injuries. But then you have to prove your worth and prove your good enough to stay in the team.
“He’s a very level-headed guy. I know his mum well and, knowing her and the way she is, she’s lovely women and there’s no way he’s stepping out of line.”
Alexander-Arnold looks confident with the ball at his feet, bursts up and down the field, and produces cleverly weighed crosses into his attackers – racking up 12 assists last campaign.
Widely regarded as one of the most promising right-backs in Europe, McAteer sees a comparison to his progression and influence under Klopp to that of Raheem Sterling and Pep Guardiola at Manchester City.
“I think when you look at Raheem Sterling and his move to City, if Pep Guardiola was not his manager, we wouldn’t be talking about him the way we are now. Sometimes it’s the right manager for the right player in their progression,” said McAteer.
“I think Trent and Jurgen is that relationship as well. What Jurgen does for Trent’s confidence, belief and the license he gives him to play has helped Trent the way he plays today. At 21, you could say he’s the best right back in Europe now.”
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