‘He would not play here’: Jurgen Klopp sends strong message over £160,000/week ace

Trent Alexander-Arnold played a pivotal role for Liverpool against West Ham as he assisted Sadio Mane for the winner and shone defensively.

It was also a massive game in the Premier League title race as it allowed Liverpool to close the gap to three points before Manchester City restored their six-point buffer with a 4-1 win over the lacklustre Manchester United.

The game at Anfield was a tense affair as David Moyes sought to win his first-ever match at the hallowed Merseyside ground but a combination of improved game management and world-class last-ditch defending from Alexander-Arnold saw three points go to the Reds.

Trent Alexander-Arnold

He assisted Mane for the only goal of the game but he could have had (and perhaps should have had) an assist after just 1 minute and 7 seconds but Mohamed Salah failed to take the gilt-edged opportunity presented to him by the Scouser.

Nikola Vlašić was caught offside and he failed to stop Alexander-Arnold from taking his free-kick quickly and, as we know from his ingeniously quickly taken corner against Barcelona on that glorious night at Anfield, Trent is a player you need to be on your toes around.

His assist for Mane may have been initially intended as a shot but everyone connected with Liverpool will agree that, at the moment, it doesn’t matter who gets the goal and how the goal is scored – just that the ball crosses the line.

Trent Alexander-Arnold

Yet despite the unsurprising impact Alexander-Arnold had on Liverpool’s attacking phase of play, he was praised most for his contributions to the Reds’ defence and Jurgen Klopp had words of praise for the 23-year-old himself.

The right-back, who reportedly earns £160,000/week, was switched on defensively as he raced in to clear the ball off the line after Pablo Fornals broke the Liverpool offside trap. His dinked effort was over Alisson’s head and goalbound but Alexander-Arnold sped in to save a certain goal before mopping up the mess to give West Ham a corner.

West Ham had so much space in the first place due to Alexander-Arnold’s aggressive high positioning up the pitch but that’s not his fault as that’s where Jurgen Klopp asks him to position himself.

That said, if Liverpool hold onto their 2-0 aggregate lead over Inter Milan in the Champions League this week, they will need to consider a less risky approach than relying on their offside trap to stop teams.

Trent Alexander-Arnold

Klopp was mightily impressed by Alexander-Arnold but is not surprised by the Scouser’s defending at all.

“Absolutely, I don’t understand that, that’s true, but I don’t think I will change that with whatever I will say,” said Klopp when asked if he knew why the young defender is so regularly placed under a microscope defensively.

“But if he couldn’t defend, he would not play here – at least not that in that position.

“He improved in all departments and defending of course as well, but he is that young that he can improve and has to improve, but yes, his defending is not a problem we have.”

Michael Mongie
Football Central Media Group founder, owner and editor.

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