Jurgen Klopp says he took Trent Alexander-Arnold off against Crystal Palace tonight to manage the right-back’s workload.
Trent was substituted with 20 minutes to play at Selhurst Park, having had a difficult evening. But asked by Sky Sports about his decision to hook his No.66, Klopp insisted it was nothing to do with the player’s performance
“Trent plays all the games, that makes it really tricky,” explained the manager. “I didn’t take him off because he was bad. He’s always good for a cross or a pass or whatever, but he plays all the games and that’s why we had to change it.”
Klopp also touched on his decision to take Naby Keita off following a 45-minute display that was described as ‘erratic’ by Jamie Redknapp.
“Naby had an early yellow and then it was difficult. We thought about it, then we had to take him off earlier,” said the 55-year-old.
Trent struggles at Selhurst
It was never likely that Klopp would come out and say he’d taken any player off because of a poor performance. It just isn’t Jurgen’s style.
To be fair to the pair of them, Alexander-Arnold really does play every game right now, too. Without a natural deputy, Liverpool have got themselves into a position where he simply has to play.
As a result, it’s important that the 24-year-old gets a rest whenever he can. Judging from his display against Palace tonight, he needs one.
There were sloppy passes, flimsy tackling and some really poor body language.
Whatever Klopp says publicly to the cameras, he’ll have no doubt noticed all of the above from the England international.
In truth, those things have all been on display for most of the season from Trent. There has been a little bit of a resurgence recently, but generally he simply hasn’t been good enough.
With two games to come in the next week, you can see Jurgen’s point here. But hopefully it just gives Alexander-Arnold a little kick up the backside, too.
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