EXCLUSIVE: Trent Alexander-Arnold on 'special' Roberto Firmino ahead of Liverpool farewell & why he loves midfield position change
- Firmino set for last Anfield game against Aston Villa
- Brazilian to leave the Reds after eight years
- Alexander-Arnold opens up on positional change
WHAT HAPPENED? Firmino is set to play his final Anfield game for Liverpool against Aston Villa on Saturday, with the Brazilian leaving on a free transfer at the end of the season. And speaking exclusively to GOAL, Alexander-Arnold paid tribute to the 31-year-old, whose eight years on Merseyside have been littered with goals, assists, trophies and wonderful memories.
WHAT THEY SAID: Alexander-Arnold said: "He’s just a special player, someone who has never caused a fuss, who has always just got on with what he needed to do, and played at a very, very high level for a number of years. I’m honoured to have shared the pitch with him, and he’s done things I’ve honestly never seen before!
"He gets the credit he deserves at Liverpool, and rightly so. People love him. The players love him, the fans absolutely love him. Potentially at times he might have been undervalued [by the outside world] but in terms of our team, he’s been shown the love he deserves, and I'm sure that will be the case this weekend again."
AND WHAT'S MORE: Alexander-Arnold also opened up on his recent positional change at Liverpool, which has seen him move into a hybrid full-back/midfield role, with considerable success.
"I love it," he said. "I like playing in there, I’m enjoying it, finding myself in positions where I can affect the game. But for me, it’s not too much of a change. It’s more little tweaks, but it’s still the same game, the objective is still the same, to go out there and try to play the same way. I have just been getting the ball in a slightly different area.
"I’ve got experience in there, and that's helped. Obviously it was in the academy and not the first team, but I understand the position and the intricacies which come with it. I like the responsibility, 100 percent. I enjoy that feeling, I love playing in the big moments, big games, and feeling like I can affect those games. That’s football, for me. I’ve always enjoyed that."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Alexander-Arnold was speaking at Red Bull Four 2 Score, an action-packed 4-vs-4 football format where goals in the first and last minute are worth double. The England international attended the event in Liverpool, presenting the winners of both the men's and women's tournaments with their prizes. To find out more about Red Bull Four 2 Score, visit redbull.com
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WHAT NEXT? Firmino, along with teammates James Milner, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, will say goodbye to Anfield as Liverpool face Aston Villa on Saturday (15:00 BST). His final game for the Reds could come away to Southampton next Sunday (16:00 BST).