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I owe everything to him – Trent Alexander-Arnold grateful to Jurgen Klopp

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 16 Apr 2024

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Trent Alexander-Arnold says he owes everything to Jurgen Klopp and believes the Liverpool manager’s impending departure could feed into the title-race drama.

Reigning champions Manchester City sit top of the Premier League pile with six matches remaining after second-placed Arsenal and the third-spotted Reds suffered shock defeats on Sunday.

Liverpool’s 1-0 home loss to Crystal Palace compounded Thursday’s 3-0 Europa League quarter-final defeat at the hands of Atalanta in what could prove Klopp’s final European night at Anfield.

Alexander-Arnold made his return from two months out with a knee injury in the Eagles encounter and expects more “twists and turns” as the popular German’s final season in charge comes to an end.

“I think experience is a massive part of it,” the Liverpool academy product told The Overlap podcast.

“Obviously the other two teams will have experience from last season. They had their own title race within themselves.”

Asked if Klopp leaving and the emotion around gives Liverpool an edge in the run-in, Alexander-Arnold said: “I think he will feed into that, the further it goes.

“Let’s say we get into May, the start of May, and it’s still that tight, then he’ll start to feed into how it’s going to look, how it could feel. Up until then, we just need to try and stay (composed).

“He never says, ‘We’re trying to win the league, we’re going to win the league’.

“He doesn’t really speak about it. It’s more, ‘We’re going to get the most out of ourselves, we’re going to squeeze every drop of potential’.

“There will be twists and turns, no matter what.”

Liverpool are hoping for an almighty change in fortunes at Atalanta on Thursday, when the second leg could see Alexander-Arnold make his first start since February 10.

Every one of his appearances for his boyhood club have come under Klopp, to whom the homegrown star is eternally grateful.

“Incredible, really,” Alexander-Arnold said. “I owe everything to him, really, as a player.

“I was thinking about this recently. The only thing you can ever ask for as a young player is opportunity.

“All you can do is hope that when you get to 18, 19, you’ve got a manager that’s willing to give you a chance and I was fortunate enough to have that.

“Not only that, he put his arm round me and guided me through it, through the ups and downs, the winning of stuff, losing things.

“Good games, bad games, because your first bad game you think you’re never going to kick a ball again. You think, ‘I’m done’.”

Alexander-Arnold is expecting it to feel “weird” returning to pre-season without Klopp, although he likes the idea of a “new challenge” under an as yet undetermined new boss.

The 25-year-old will likely return late to Liverpool given England are among the favourites for Euro 2024, at which Gareth Southgate has a midfield role in mind for him.

Asked whether he sees himself as a midfielder or a right-back, Alexander-Arnold said: “I’d probably say I still see myself as a right-back.

“I see myself as someone who can probably play in both positions if needed.

“But I think my focus, until I’m told otherwise by the gaffer, is that I’m still a right-back.

“I come inside and I play inside when we have the got ball, but essentially, when you write the team-sheet, I am a right-back.”

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