Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Klopp ´struggling to understand´ Southgate decision to move Alexander-Arnold forward

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 10 Sep 2021

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp expressed his confusion over England starting Trent Alexander-Arnold in midfield against Andorra.

Alexander-Arnold occupied a first-half midfield position for Gareth Southgate’s men in the 4-0 win before reverting to his usual full-back role in the second half.

The right-back has created more chances than any other player in the Premier League this season (15), while no player has provided more successful open-play crosses (six) than the 22-year-old.

As Liverpool look to extend their unbeaten run to 14 matches when they take on Leeds United on Sunday – the second-longest streak in England’s top four tiers after Brentford – Klopp questioned if the shift was necessary.

“If you watch our games, Trent’s position already changed when possible,” Klopp responded at Friday’s pre-match news conference.

“[There is] no need to make him a midfielder now. It’s a shame we talk about this in 2021, good players play everywhere, Trent plays right-wing, everywhere.

“Some people think he could be more influential in midfield. How is it possible to be more influential than Trent Alexander-Arnold? We use him as good as we can.

“But why would you make the best right-back in the world a midfielder? I struggle to understand how you can think that.”

The Liverpool academy product admitted post-match that he found the switch difficult against Andorra, recording 81 per cent passing accuracy, which increased to 87.1 by the end of the second half in his usual position.

He also produced a game-high six crosses and two key passes – only bettered by Jude Bellingham (three) – suggesting his performance was not as bad as his self-reflection hinted at.

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