FeatureMeet the Academy: How Josh Davidson is out to emulate Trent Alexander-Arnold

By Glenn Price


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Josh Davidson is looking to meticulously replicate Trent Alexander-Arnold's rise at Liverpool.

Like Alexander-Arnold, Davidson – a Scouser living a dream with his boyhood club since U6 level – was taken from positions further upfield and moulded into a right-back during his progression at the Academy.

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"At the start I had to suck it up and get used to it," he reflects during a conversation with Liverpoolfc.com. "But then it started to grow on me, to be fair, because it suited my style of play."

And now with the Reds' U21s side, Davidson is playing as an inverted full-back, doing his best to imitate the role the No.66 shines in at senior level.

The 18-year-old says: "I think it's the best of both worlds really because I like to get forward and cross the ball but then I also like being in the middle of the pitch and trying to make things happen.

"Obviously he [Alexander-Arnold] followed the path that I'm trying to go on and he's a great role model to look up to. I don't think anybody else could play that role better than him, to be honest.

"I always watch Liverpool anyway, so I get to see him playing that role quite often. When I first started trying out the role, I got shown clips of when to roll in and become that inverted full-back, positions and stuff like that. He was the best player to use for clips."

Davidson was also up close to one of Alexander-Arnold's most iconic moments in his bar-raising Liverpool career so far.

"I was a ball boy for the Barcelona game as well," he reveals.

Indeed, Davidson was stationed next to U21s teammate Oakley Cannonier, who was a key figure in 'Corner taken quickly, Origi…' during the Anfield leg of that historic 2019 Champions League semi-final.

"I probably didn't have quite the impact that he [Cannonier] had!" Davidson laughs. "It was just unbelievable to be there. Where Oakley gave the ball to Trent, I was on the other side of the corner flag near the Main Stand."

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It'll forever be an inspiring moment for the teenager as he looks to make his own journey from Liverpool trialist to Liverpool icon.

Remarkably, it all begins with his auntie Lorraine simply being in the right place at the right time.

"My auntie used to be washing the kit and stuff like that for the players [at the Academy]," Davidson explains. "She ended up telling one of the scouts at Liverpool about me playing football.

"So then I ended up getting asked to go in for a trial and I just stayed there.

"When I signed my first professional contract [in 2022], I couldn't tell you how proud a moment it was for me and my family because I've supported Liverpool all my life. And all my family are Reds as well, so I think they were proud of me as well for making it this far.

"She [his auntie] was made up and then obviously would make a little joke now and again, saying she's the reason that I'm there!"

After the assist from Lorraine, Davidson's talent has seen him ascend through the ranks in the Kirkby set-up, developing as a player and leader along the way.

"When I was younger, I was the captain of my age quite often, so then I've always felt that role was suited to me in a way," he states. "Obviously I've still got a lot of learning to do towards being a leader and stuff because I'm not the perfect leader.

"I'm made up that I was captain, so I'll just have to keep trying to learn to be a better captain if I can keep the armband."

Davidson captaining Liverpool at Fleetwood in the Youth Cup
Davidson captaining Liverpool at Fleetwood in the Youth Cup

Davidson's latest chapter at Liverpool is with Barry Lewtas' U21s – his first campaign at Premier League 2 level.

It's proving to be a valuable experience in gaining the necessary skills and knowledge of what's required to reach the top of the game.

He finishes: "It's been good getting exposure with the U21s because it's getting closer to the men's game. Obviously there's a few experienced players in there as well who are a few years older than me, so it's just good to learn off them and get advice off them.

"The intensity and just how physical it is from being [with the] U18s and jumping up, you don't realise how much of a big step it is until you actually feel it for yourself."



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