The 2022/23 season has certainly not been a great one for Trent Alexander-Arnold thus far.
In recent campaigns, Liverpool’s marauding right-back has been among the very best players on the planet.
He previously assisted goals for fun, while also looking relatively assured from a defensive standpoint.
But in 2022/23, Alexander-Arnold has looked average at best – and has only two Premier League assists from 27 appearances.
The 24-year-old’s latest horror show came in Liverpool’s 4-1 defeat away at rivals Manchester City last Saturday.
Alexander-Arnold was given a torrid time by Jack Grealish, who was named Man of the Match after scoring and assisting goals.
It seems obvious that Alexander-Arnold needs a summer reset, because we all know what an amazing player he is when at the peak of his powers.
But the work that needs to be done may not just be defensive drills on the training pitch.
A new fitness regime could be on the agenda for Alexander-Arnold, according to talkSPORT pundits Danny Murphy and Darren Bent.
The pair argue the Liverpool man’s body transformation, which has seen him pack on some serious muscle, may be partly to blame for his on-pitch struggles.
Alexander-Arnold recently uploaded a photo of himself hard at work in the gym to Instagram, in which you can see how much his physique has changed.
Is Trent too bulky?
He looks very good, there’s no denying that, but perhaps such a muscular physique isn’t ideal for a right-back.
Compare the above image to one of Alexander-Arnold in 2019, a year when he was widely regarded as the world’s best player in his position.
Alexander-Arnold in late 2019
The difference is there for all to see.
What did Murphy and Bent say?
Bent asked Murphy whether Alexander-Arnold had bulked up, to which the former Liverpool midfielder replied: “Yeah a little bit, that’s a good shout Benty. You mean wanting to look good rather than feel good, to be able to get about the pitch, he’s got in the gym a bit too much?”
Bent then responded: “Potentially because I remember Gerard Houllier talking about it when I was with him at Aston Villa about players maybe doing too much weights and I get it, he looks fantastic.
“But when you look at him certainly a couple of years ago, he was a little bit slender. You know what it’s like Murph, if you continue to do the upper body weights, your mobility and willingness to turn a little bit can hinder you a little bit.
“I always look at Trent and think, with the football he’s still exceptional. His range of passing is still there, you don’t lose that. But his whole physique of getting around the pitch, getting sharp up to the attackers.
“One thing he used to do, even though his defensive responsibilities have been questioned for a little while now, he still used to get up against the wide man and at least make it look a little more difficult for him.
“But now he’s not even doing that, so he’s almost allowing the wide men to turn, run at him and then all of a sudden he’s struggling a little bit.
“So I definitely agree with Murph, the regime whatever he is doing, he needs to change it. Maybe less time in the gym lifting weights and maybe more time on the grass.”
The vast majority of us would kill for Alexander-Arnold’s current physique, but for the sake of his career, he may have to tweak it slightly.