Jurgen Klopp insists he will resist calls to axe Trent Alexander-Arnold and says he knows why the full-back has suffered a drop-off in form this season.
The homegrown star has been an enormous success since his breakthrough for the Reds in the 2016/2017 season.
Alexander-Arnold has consistently been one of Liverpool’s best players since making the right-back berth his own. His form over the past two seasons, including a huge number of assists, has been a big factor in Liverpool’s success.
However, his form has dropped off dramatically in recent weeks. Indeed, a poor display at Southampton on Monday saw David James make calls to see Alexander-Arnold “given a breather”.
Klopp though is adamant Alexander-Arnold won’t be dropped. He also claims there are three mitigating circumstances behind his apparent loss in form.
Discussing the player, Klopp feels that having coronavirus, suffering an injury and not having a full pre-season has taken its toll on Alexander-Arnold.
“That’s normal if you play football in public and have people used to the level Trent showed over the last three or four years, since he started playing with us pretty much, then that’s normal,” Klopp said.
“In a game like this it was an obvious case of not his best game, he knows this. We know that and that’s clear.
“There are explanations for this season if you want. But he had good games as well absolutely and helped us a lot at different moment.
“The reason is, he was out for a while with early Covid and had an injury that didn’t help.
“He had no pre-season really. After with the quality he has and the situation we were in he played pretty early.
“I think he is now getting there just physically he is fine now. He just has to find his top shape again and that will happen rather soon than later.”
Liverpool tipped to make late defender move
Liverpool, meanwhile, are reported to be keeping abreast of developments and could yet make a late move to sign a talented Toulouse defender.
Reds manager Jurgen Klopp has faced numerous calls to add to his depleted back line with a new defender. Indeed, all three senior centre-half options are on the sidelines with injury.
“I cannot say definitely we will not bring someone in, it’s just not likely because of the situation in the world,” the manager said.
Despite denials, Liverpool would move if the right player for the right price came along.
Now reports from France claim the Reds could be ready to make a late play for a €15m-rated France U20 international.