Jurgen Klopp has insisted that Trent Alexander-Arnold will be deployed in a position that the manager believes would be in Liverpool’s best interests.
Ever since being given a hybrid full-back/midfield role earlier this year, there has been an abundance of discourse as to how best to utilise the skill set of the 25-year-old, who’s scored crucial late goals in the Reds’ last two Premier League matches against Manchester City and Fulham.
At Tuesday’s press conference ahead of tomorrow night’s trip to Sheffield United, the LFC manager was asked about the role of the vice-captain within the line-up and stressed that he’d no interest in wading into the wider discussion on the subject.
Klopp told reporters (via Paul Gorst and Liverpool Echo): “It’s just about us and who is available? Conor Bradley, Joe Gomez, can one play left-back because Kostas [Tsimikas] can’t play all the games. Trent can play midfield, we always knew that.
“We will see. Trent obviously [played well] in the last game. It’s always this unpleasant trying to create headlines…
“He became one of the best players in recent history at right-back, he will play where it is best for us. I’m not stubborn and won’t play him in midfield or whatever. You can discuss it as much as you want, but I don’t want [to be part of the discussion]. We make decisions on what’s best for the team. Trent sees it that way.”
"He became one of the best players in recent history at right-back, he will play where it is best for us. I am not stubborn and won't play him in midfield or whatever. You can discuss it as much as you want, we make decisions what's best for the team. Trent sees it that way."
— Paul Gorst (@ptgorst) December 5, 2023
Some pundits continue to hammer Trent over his perceived defensive shortcomings, while others have advocated for him to be slotted into Liverpool’s midfield full-time rather than the hybrid role he currently plays.
As Klopp says, the 25-year-old’s responsibilities on the pitch could be determined to a significant degree by the composition of the team around him.
If there’s an abundance of right-backs available, that could free up the Scouser to stay further forward. If options are sparse on that flank, he’ll need to cover the ground accordingly.
Of course, like we saw in the closing minutes against Fulham on Sunday, Trent’s role within the side could be tweaked during a game, with the late introduction of Wataru Endo enabling the vice-captain to play higher up the pitch and duly be in the right place at the right time to score the winner.
Klopp will know better than anyone how best to get the most out of the England international, and how best to utilise him for the maximum benefit of the team. Trust in the boss to do what he feels must be done.