Return of forgotten Liverpool signing can kick-start Trent Alexander-Arnold’s season

During what has been a frantic, up-and-down start to the season at Anfield, fans could be forgiven for forgetting the summer signing who is yet to make his first Liverpool appearance.

Calvin Ramsay arrived from Aberdeen after an initial fee of £4million was agreed in mid-June following a standout campaign which saw him crowned Scottish Football Writers’ Association Young Player of the Year. The 19-year-old was brought in to provide competition for Trent Alexander-Arnold at right-back, with Neco Williams allowed to depart for Nottingham Forest in a £16million move.

However, a back injury unearthed during his Liverpool medical has kept Ramsay out of action. He did not feature in pre-season and has remained sidelined throughout the early stages of the Reds’ Premier League and Champions League campaigns.

In Ramsay’s absence, Alexander-Arnold has had a monopoly on minutes on the right of defence and is one of four players to feature in all nine of Liverpool’s fixtures this season, including the Community Shield victory over Manchester City. But there is no denying the 23-year-old has not lived up to his own lofty standards during an alarming run of form which has seen the Englishman and the majority of his teammates roundly criticised.

Despite being one of the most creative players in the league, he is yet to register his first assist of the campaign – although he has chipped in with two goals – while his defensive ability is more in the spotlight than ever. Not only that, Alexander-Arnold’s work rate has not always been at the standard required in a Jurgen Klopp team, as evidenced by damning footage from the humbling 4-1 defeat by Napoli earlier this month.

Without a natural back-up option in his position until Ramsay recovers from injury, Alexander-Arnold may be lacking the impetus Andy Robertson and Kostas Tsimikas give each other on the other flank. Although the former has not been at his best, the latter continues to prove a reliable performer whenever called on by Klopp.

Andy Robertson and Kostas Tsimikas

Andy Robertson (left) and Kostas Tsimikas (right) give each other healthy competition at left-back
Calvin Ramsay of Liverpool)

Tsimikas provided the vital assist with a corner for Joel Matip to head in at the death during last week’s 2-1 victory over Ajax, and is tireless in defence and offence. Robertson has spoken about the importance of being pushed by his charismatic teammate, exclusively telling Mirror Football last year: “Being at club like Liverpool, you expect to have competition all over the park, and we’ve got that.

“We’ll push each other, try and make each other better and compete against each other, but when the other one plays, we want each other to do well.”

Robertson’s comments have been echoed by former Liverpool full-back Fabio Aurelio, who told : “It seems Jurgen Klopp is prepared to use both of his left-backs more than he did in previous campaigns. That can help push the levels of Robertson and Tsimikas even higher as both will want to be starting – helping the team at the same time. I see it as a win-win situation.”

Calvin Ramsay of Liverpool

Calvin Ramsay is still waiting to make his Liverpool debut
Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Liverpool will hope Ramsay’s return can kick-start Alexander-Arnold to rediscover his world-beating best form on Merseyside. That being said, mystery surrounds just when fans can hope to see the Scotland Under-21 prospect make his debut.

“Calvin is still out but really getting closer and closer,” Klopp said earlier this month. “For him, it was something with his back, something to do with age and growing and these kind of things. He didn’t train now properly with us, but he gets closer.”

Of course, expectations of the impact Ramsay will have must be tempered given his youth and lack of experience in English football. Regardless, his return will be a welcome boost for Alexander-Arnold and Liverpool as they target improved results and consistency during the hectic autumn schedule.

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