Jurgen Klopp explains why he didn’t call upon Trent during Liverpool’s defeat to Atalanta

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Jurgen Klopp has explained why he didn’t introduce Trent Alexander-Arnold off the bench during Liverpool’s 0-3 defeat to Atalanta on Thursday night.

The vice-captain and Diogo Jota both returned to the matchday squad for the first time since mid-February after their respective knee injuries, but while the Portuguese winger was given 15 minutes of game-time, the 25-year-old remained unused despite his team’s woes.

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Speaking to the press afterwards, the Reds manager outlined that the West Derby native wasn’t ready for action last night and was only included among the substitutes to make up the numbers.

Klopp explained (via liverpoolfc.com): “There was no chance to play Trent. He was on the bench because we were allowed to put 23 players into the squad. He had two sessions. Diogo didn’t have more really but the information from the medical department is [he was a] step ahead, so he can play a little bit longer.”

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With Liverpool struggling so badly on the pitch and Trent among the substitutes, Reds fans may have been wondering why Klopp didn’t throw his vice-captain into the fray, particularly when Jota was utilised.

However, the manager knows better than anyone (aside from the medical staff) whether or not a player is ready for action, and not even someone of the 25-year-old’s playmaking quality would’ve been able to rescue a result for us last night, such was the chasm between us and Atalanta.

The extra couple of days until the Crystal Palace game might be the window that’s needed for our number 66 to reach a sufficient fitness level to at least get onto the field of play. If not, next week’s second leg in Italy could mark his comeback.

The last thing Klopp will want to do is bring Trent back too early and risk seeing him break down again, potentially scuppering his involvement for the remainder of the season.

Liverpool will need their vice-captain between now and the end of May, so managing his fitness will be crucial. You can be sure that the manager will restore the 25-year-old to the team when the moment is right.

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