Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has explained why influential full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold was substituted early for the second time in four days against Everton
Jurgen Klopp has insisted that Trent Alexander-Arnold’s recent dip in form was not the sole reason behind his decision to substitute the Liverpool full-back again.
Alexander-Arnold was hauled off for the second time in four days during Saturday’s Merseyside derby as the Reds chased an elusive winner against Everton, who held their arch-rivals to a goalless draw. James Milner was brought on to replace the 23-year-old, who was also off the boil in the dramatic midweek win over Newcastle, on the hour mark in a decision that wasn’t particularly popular with Reds’ supporters.
But Klopp outlined that the change was made to keep Alexander-Arnold fresh in the wake of the Reds’ current injury predicament. With a host of first-team stars missing, Klopp is keen to do whatever he can to avoid any more issues accumulating over the coming weeks.
When he was asked about Alexander-Arnold’s substitution after the match, the Liverpool chief explained: “We have to manage his game time. Where can we change at the moment? We have players coming in and coming back.
“Arthur [Melo] is now here and will be very important for us, but he didn’t play football for a long, long time and yesterday he played a rondo with us. We thought until last night he wouldn’t be available, it wasn’t the plan to bring him.
“So who do we have on the bench? Millie can play in midfield and both full-back positions and we just thought like the last game that it made sense to bring the fresh legs there, that’s why we decided like this.”
Andrew Robertson, the Reds’ other first-choice full-back, was rested for the clash, with Kostas Tsimikas getting the nod from Klopp. Robertson was introduced alongside new boy Arthur Melo as Alexander-Arnold made way.
And while Klopp was adamant that Alexander-Arnold’s recent form was not the sole reason behind his decision to make a change, the Liverpool boss did concede that the influential full-back did not perform to the best of his abilities at Goodison Park.
“Trent is playing all the time, Robbo is playing all the time,” Klopp added. “There we have alternatives and we have to use them to bring in fresh energy on the pitch. It’s nothing to do with performance, even though I know Trent can play better today definitely, it’s nothing to do with that.