Klopp's decision on "fried" Alexander-Arnold as Salah issue emerges again


Jurgen Klopp is certain to play Trent Alexander-Arnold against Manchester United despite the Liverpool right-back looking “fried”.

That’s according to former Liverpool star Jason McAteer, who says the Reds boss has little choice but to play his best team, despite fitness concerns.

Klopp recently alluded to the difficulties he has faced as a result of fixture congestion, saying: “We haven’t had fringe players this season. We have had fit players, non-fit players and the kids! We’ve desperately needed each of them.”

McAteer compared Alexander-Arnold’s season to Mohamed Salah’s second campaign at Liverpool as he isn’t stealing the plaudits like before.

McAteer doesn’t believe this is because the right-back has gone off the boil, simply he’s become a victim of his own success, and crucially, needs a rest.



Jurgen Klopp is certain to play Trent Alexander-Arnold against Man United
Jurgen Klopp is certain to play Trent Alexander-Arnold against Man United



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“Despite Trent Alexander-Arnold struggling a bit this season, he’s still England’s best right-back,” McAteer told FreeSuperTips. “However, there isn’t such a thing anymore as the ‘perfect right-back’ nowadays.

“Years ago your right-back was a defensive player who was there to protect the back four, he was there to help the winger and every so often he’d get forward.

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“However, the modern right-back is practically a winger. Trent’s best qualities are when he goes forward. His crossing and fitness are sublime, but defensively that there are question marks over him.

“As a manager, you need to decide if you want this defensive player in your side or someone who is more attacking, which is what Klopp wants and that’s why Trent is a perfect fit.

“For Gareth Southgate, it depends on what he wants for each game and who fits the position best against each opposition.



Trent Alexander-Arnold has looked tired this season
Trent Alexander-Arnold has looked tired this season

“There have been games this season where he has lacked quality, which is surprising given how high he has set his own bar for performances.

“But when you’re in the media spotlight playing for Liverpool and you don’t reach the level of performance that you did previously, you are going to get scrutinised.

“It’s similar with Mohamed Salah in his first season where he scored so many goals, when he didn’t match that the next season, people said he was finished, when in hindsight, his stats are simply phenomenal.

“What Liverpool have done under Klopp in the last few seasons is brilliant, and there was bound to be a drop off point somewhere.



Mohamed Salah was criticised during his second season at Liverpool

“When a player is slightly older and more into their career, you can handle it better, but with Trent, he’s young, he’s played football at the highest level and playing every week.

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“It’s a lot of mental pressure for a young player to deal with. He looks worn out mentally and physically, and his brain looks fried.

“Despite this, you still have to play him in the game against Manchester United. It’s the biggest game of the season in the Premier League so players don’t feel tired in the build up to it. If Klopp wants to rest him for a few games, you do it after the United game.”

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