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Is Trent Alexander-Arnold a Must Have In FPL 2023/24?

As the FPL community gears up for another exciting season, one name that consistently sparks debate is Trent Alexander-Arnold.

A unique player for many reasons, his £8.0m price tag, potential out-of-position (OOP) role, and rich FPL history have split opinions among managers.

He might be a good starter for the season, but it’s unclear if Trent is crucial over the course of the campaign.

His potential is shown by stats, and Liverpool’s strong defense helps his case.

However, doubts about his role and future performance argue against him being essential.

To know if he’s really needed, we should look at his FPL record, cost, and how Liverpool plays.

TAA FPL History

SeasonPointsG/AClean Sheets
TAA’S FPL History
  • 2022/23: Tied 2nd highest scorer among defenders, 2nd in bonus points, most G/A
  • 2021/22: Highest scorer among defenders, 1st in bonus points, tied-most G/A
  • 2020/21: 3rd highest scorer among defenders, 1st in bonus points, tied-2nd in G/A.

Despite Liverpool’s struggles last season, Trent proved himself as a top 2 defender in various attacking threat categories:

  • 124 shot-creating actions (2nd in defenders)
  • 17 Goal-creating actions (1st in defenders)
  • 2nd most shots among defenders (40)
  • 3rd in progressive passes among defenders (235)
  • Most crosses in the penalty box (28)
  • 5th most passes into the penalty area (Behind Trippier, KDB, Odegaard, and Bruno Fernandes)
  • Second best for crosses (252) in the league

In short, these stats don’t get better for a defender.

Is TAA at £8.0m Still Too Cheap?

Trent’s price of £8.0m will divide the FPL community.

To put things in perspective, John Stones, anticipated to feature prominently in midfield, is priced at £5.5m.

At the time of writing, Trent sits as the 6th most selected defender in FPL with 22% ownership, while Stones boasts a 30% ownership and Estupinan leads at 52%.

When comparing players valued at £8.0m or less, Trent’s performances last season places him tied 11th in points.

When shifting the focus to players priced at £8.5m and above, Trent’s numbers fall short, except when compared to Son’s figures (152 points, 8 BP, 16 G/A).

The next closest contender is Bruno Fernandes (£8.5m) who boasts impressive numbers (176 Points, 17 G/A, 23 BP).

However, given he only kept 10 clean sheets last season and played less than 3,000 minutes, it seems 160 points is his floor.

Liverpool’s System

Liverpool exhibited their defensive solidity last season, securing 14 clean sheets which were tied for the 2nd most in the league.

Despite conceding 47 goals, their clean sheet potential remained evident, and their average of 15.6 clean sheets over the past 3 seasons underscores their consistency.

Trent Alexander-Arnold’s adaptability shone in his recent performances, notably playing as a central midfielder in the last two full 90-minute games for England.

This role shift resulted in 2 G/A and a Man of the Match award.

Additionally, he was ranked 1st in assists, chances created, passes in opp. half, penalty area entries, possession won, and touches since April 9th.

And from GW30 to GW38, TAA accumulated the most FPL points among defenders (60).

Introduction of Szoboszlai

The introduction of Szoboszlai adds intrigue to Liverpool’s system. The team’s transition to a fluid 3-4-3 formation toward the end of the previous season included TAA in a hybrid role.

Given Szoboszlai’s expected position on the right, uncertainty arises about Trent’s role.

Szoboszlai’s set-piece ability may diminish TAA’s assist potential somewhat as he has been taking some corners in pre-season.

Liverpool Fixtures

Overall, Liverpool have a favourable start to the season.

Outside of Chelsea (a) and Newcastle (a) in GW1 and GW3, respectively, their opening fixtures are enticing.

Furthermore, not having key Liverpool assets in GW2 when they face Bournemouth (H) will be a tough watch.

Based on the above, it would be an exaggeration to claim Alexander-Arnold is an absolute must-have in FPL 2023/24.

But, he is clearly an excellent pick who will likely punish non-owners throughout the season.