This week, Trent Alexander-Arnold’s knee injury sustained during the Reds’ 2-0 FA Cup victory over Arsenal provided a setback to Liverpool as he was out for “a few weeks.”
The important England player has joined the list of players absentees that also includes Wataru Endo, Andy Roberson, Kostas Tsimkas, and Mohamed Salah. The team’s next schedule includes matches against Chelsea and Arsenal in the Premier League and a two-leg Carabao Cup semifinal.
The 25-year-old plays a hybrid position between full-back and midfield, therefore it won’t be easy to replace him because the Reds roster doesn’t have any comparable players. What options does Jurgen Klopp have in order to secure a Wembley final and hold off the competition at the top of the Premier League?
If Klopp is to focus on youth, 20-year-old Conor Bradley demonstrated his ability to make an impact in the first team during his late replacement appearance at the Emirates over the weekend. Despite being targeted by the home team on several occasions during a hectic FA Cup match, Bradley remained composed and controlled in the face of a seasoned Arsenal attacker in Gabriel Martinelli.
Even if Liverpool can be confidence in his defensive skills, Klopp may be taking a chance by asking him to assume Alexander-Arnold’s out-of-possession midfield duty at this point in the season.
Moving Joe Gomez to right back and switching the back line is an additional option. Although the 26-year-old has a tonne of experience playing all around the back, he has recently been covering for Robertson and Tsmikas at left-back, so this would be a new challenge there.
Luke Chambers, an unproven youth left-back, would therefore be Liverpool’s only choice on that side, which seems unlikely.
Finding a midfield player who can step into Alexander-Arnold’s position is another way to approach the problem of trying to replicate what he contributes for this Liverpool team. Given that Stefan Bajcetic is also sidelined, Curtis Jones is most likely the player that most suits the bill in this situation due to his ability to pass with range and his natural ability to look ahead.
A New Signing?
Since the transfer window is open in January, is it wise to bring in a fresh perspective to address the issue?
Not actually, that’s not. Since none of Liverpool’s absentees have been ruled out for the long run, it would be a bit of a panic move to throw money at the issue and bring in a new player who would need some time to get used to this team. However, this is not how Liverpool usually plays.