Arthur Melo could find himself left out at Liverpool if Jurgen Klopp continues to tinker with his team. He wasn’t on the bench v Rangers.
Arthur Melo wasn’t even on the bench for Liverpool this week as they beat Rangers 2-0 at Anfield. It slipped a little under the radar as Jurgen Klopp drew attention with his formation change.
Klopp went 4-4-2, ditching his preferred 4-3-3 in an attempt to shake things up at Liverpool. It worked, of course, as the Reds looked better than they have for some time.
But it’s a change that could negatively effect Arthur. In fact, it seems it already is.
Arthur left out at Liverpool
Arthur wasn’t on the bench and the simple explanation is that there wasn’t room. After all, Liverpool only needed cover for two midfielders rather than their usual three.
The switch also meant one extra midfielder wasn’t in the XI, with Fabinho taking a place on the bench he otherwise wouldn’t have had to. Put the two together and it’s not a great surprise that Arthur didn’t make it.
But there’s another factor at play here. Klopp is tinkering with his side, switching to a system the team doesn’t know very well. He admitted after the Rangers game that they’d only worked on the 4-4-2 for one training session.
Photo by Nick Taylor/Liverpool FC/Liverpool FC via Getty Images
When things aren’t comfortable at Liverpool, the boss has a tendency to rely heavily on those he trusts. We saw it in 2020/21 when injuries crippled the squad. Klopp was far quicker to use experienced midfielders in defence and cram his team with trusted players than try inexperienced players.
We see a similar thing happening here. As Liverpool take risks, we think Klopp will be hesitant to try players who he’s not 100% on. After all, if he can’t be sure about the system, he wants to be sure about the players.
And that could hurt Arthur. He’s trying to work his way up from the bottom of the pecking order but now there are limited places for him and less reason to trust him.
We might see the Brazilian left in the cold as a result, even if his efforts in training have been ‘first-class’.