By Wayne Veysey
Trent Alexander-Arnold played a key role in persuading Rangers to sign Brandon Barker this summer, Football Insider has learned.
The England and Liverpool right-back, 20, told Steven Gerrard and his coaching staff that the 22-year-old winger was one of the toughest opponents he had ever had.
Ibrox sources have told Football Insider how Alexander-Arnold’s recollections of being “destroyed” by Barker in youth-team matches between Liverpool and Manchester City were pivotal to them finalising a deal for him last month.
The Anfield star has particularly harrowing memories of Barker terrorising him in an Under-21 match in 2016 that City won 3-0, and in which he had to be substituted before the end after the winger set up two of the goals.
Alexander-Arnold has developed into one of the best attacking full-backs in the world – a two-times Champions League finalist- while Barker is looking to ignite his career after joining Rangers.
He was plucked from the fringes of the City squad for a six-figure fee and signed a three-year contract.
Barker has been affected by knee problems but marked his second appearance for Gerrard’s side with a goal in the 3-1 win over Livingston last Saturday after replacing the injured Ryan Kent.
The left-winger played only one senior game for the Premier League champions after graduating from their youth ranks, but spent last season on loan at Championship outfit Preston North End, making 18 league appearances among 20 in all competitions.
Barker has had spells on loan at Hibernian, NAC Breda and Rotherham United, as well as at Preston, where he scored two goals and supplied two assists from his 20 matches in 2018-19.