Klopp Faces Liverpool Lineup Decision with Trent Alexander-Arnold’s Return Uncertainty

Trent Alexander-Arnold has played a pivotal role in Liverpool’s adoption of a box midfield formation since April. However, as they prepare to take on Wolves this weekend, his absence from training raises concerns.

Five months ago, Jürgen Klopp was compelled to reevaluate his Liverpool squad, as they struggled to perform on the pitch. The Reds endured a winless streak of four matches, including three losses, and found themselves languishing in eighth place on the Premier League table. Their exits from all cup competitions exacerbated the situation.

Throughout the campaign, Liverpool had grappled with a recurring issue: opponents exploiting counter-attacks, while players like Fabinho and Jordan Henderson struggled to provide defensive stability. The team’s ability to snuff out threats had declined compared to previous seasons, causing significant problems.

The solution emerged from Klopp’s assistant, Pep Lijnders. He proposed that right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold shift to a makeshift midfield role when Liverpool had possession, creating a midfield box by moving closer to Fabinho.

Since adopting this tactical adjustment, Liverpool has gone unbeaten in 15 Premier League matches. The team hasn’t suffered a defeat since implementing Lijnders’ strategy, with Alexander-Arnold excelling as a playmaker in midfield, allowing Klopp’s side to dominate the center of the pitch.

This tactical shift has also bolstered Liverpool’s ability to thwart counter-attacks. Reflecting on the tweak during an interview with the Training Ground Guru Podcast last month, Lijnders remarked, “The team became compact again when in possession. We were balanced, and counter-attacks were no longer the threat they once were. A small change can make players feel free and comfortable. The counter-press worked effectively, and we didn’t require Ibou Konaté to sprint 60 yards after every loss of possession.”

Liverpool has continued to employ the box midfield system this season, winning three out of four matches. Alexander-Arnold remains a key figure, more indispensable than ever on Merseyside. However, his availability for the upcoming match against Wolves remains uncertain.

Liverpool is set to face Wolves on Saturday, and the absence of Alexander-Arnold, who was not seen in training this week, could pose a challenge. The English defender was granted permission to skip international duty due to an injury concern sustained against Aston Villa before the break.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top