June 11, 2018 / 8:36 AM / in a year

Soccer: Mentors like Milner key to develop youngsters - Alexander-Arnold

Soccer Football - International Friendly - England vs Costa Rica - Elland Road, Leeds, Britain - June 7, 2018 England's Trent Alexander-Arnold in action REUTERS/Phil Noble/Files

(Reuters) - Liverpool wing-back Trent Alexander-Arnold believes it is important to have experienced players like James Milner in the dressing room to help develop youngsters.

Alexander-Arnold’s opportunities at Liverpool came earlier than expected this year after long-term injuries to full-back Nathaniel Clyne and utility defender Joe Gomez.

The 19-year-old academy graduate delivered a string of impressive performances but said it would not have been possible without Milner’s contribution on and off the pitch.

“James has taught me a lot,” Alexander-Arnold told Sky Sports. “Like me, he also came through really young, and he’s always there if I need to go to someone. It’s important to have those players around you.

“At Liverpool, he is one of the players who have been really successful in their career. He knows how to win things and how it’s done. He’s been a huge help to me this season.”

Alexander-Arnold’s solid form saw him named in Gareth Southgate’s England World Cup squad and he responded with a commanding display on debut in a 2-0 friendly win over Costa Rica last week.

When asked to elaborate Milner’s advice, Alexander-Arnold added: “He always comes up to me before a big game and tells me just to keep playing the way I play, not change my game too much.

“That’s one of the things that has really hit home for me, just to play how I play and not change for anyone.”

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru

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