Trent Alexander-Arnold plays better when he’s joined in the Liverpool team by captain Jordan Henderson.
That’s according to former Liverpool player Mark Lawrenson. Speaking to Off The Ball, Lawrenson claimed that Henderson helps his younger teammate out so much defensively.
Defensively he’s always better when Henderson’s playing, because Henderson realises when Trent goes forward, he just sits in, he sits in for him. He sits in but he’s [still] in the other half and he’s capable of getting back if there’s a problem,” said the pundit.
Henderson has missed Liverpool’s last three games through injury. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that the worst defensive display of the season so far – away at Napoli – came during that period.
Liverpool finding their feet with new system
There’s no doubt that Liverpool have had to get used to some adjustments in their system this season.
The right-sided midfield spot has usually been filled by the diligent Henderson over recent years. But injury to Thiago Alcantara prompted a bit of a reshuffle in the midfield.
When £20m man Henderson has played, he’s tended to be out on the left instead. Filling his spot on the opposite side has been youngster Harvey Elliott.
Elliott is a gifted player and has largely done well in the role. His displays could even have earned him an England call-up.
But he’s also a completely different player to Henderson. For one thing, he’s left-footed. As a result of this, Elliott likes to drift in-field whenever possible.
With Alexander-Arnold bombing on, this can lead to gaps being opened up if counterattacks come the other way.
Obviously, Liverpool have been caught out by this numerous times already this season. It will be interesting to see how Jurgen Klopp plays it once he has all his options back available in the coming weeks.
Although Elliott has made a decent enough impression, you’d suspect the tried and tested trio of Henderson, Thiago and Fabinho would return. Hopefully with it comes the return of greater solidity, too.