The Reds’ young defender is under no illusions about how tough the coming domestic campaign will be
Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold knows his side will be targeted this season as they look to defend their Premier League title.
Jurgen Klopp’s side ended their league drought last season in emphatic fashion and begin their new campaign on Saturday at Anfield against Leeds United.
The Reds’ success over the past 18 months means they have become a benchmark in England and Alexander-Arnold believes the club must remain focused on themselves to ensure they are ready for the bigger challenges to come.
“For us it’s not about topping the points that we got or scoring more goals, it’s about if we can all develop as a team and keep winning,” Alexander-Arnold told Sky Sports News.
“We need to keep that mentality, that is the main thing that helped us get this far.
“We know that there’s now a big target on our backs being the champions and teams are going to be extra motivated when they play us, so we need to match that mentality and take it to the next step.
“Winning it back-to-back is harder than winning it once.”
The 21-year-old was recently named the PFA Young Player of the Year after another strong season that saw him contribute 13 Premier League assists and chip in with four goals.
Despite those statistics, Alexander-Arnold is no longer flying under the radar and has had to adapt to the increased attention being given to him on the pitch.
“Towards the second half of last season, or even the final quarter after everything that happened, I found it a little bit tougher to find the space and have that freedom,” he said.
“I found myself getting man-marked a few more times in games, which I wasn’t used to. When you pose a threat to the opposition, they look at it and try and stop it from happening. In my mind, if that’s happened to me it means that I’m doing something right.
“I can only try and keep doing that. Every season you’ve got to adapt and change your ways because everyone is improving. You can’t stay the same, you’ve got to keep improving.
“For me personally and for the team, we have to adapt to the new situation and adapt quickly.”