‘Liverpool may concede less without Alexander-Arnold’ – Barnes unfazed by injury to England right-back
Liverpool may end up conceding fewer goals with Trent Alexander-Arnold ruled out, claims John Barnes, with the Reds legend not concerned to see the buccaneering right-back added to the ever-growing injury list.
Jurgen Klopp has seen what started out as an unfortunate run of bad luck on the fitness front become a selection nightmare at Anfield. Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Alexander-Arnold are all now on the treatment table, with it yet to be determined when any of that trio will return to action.
The reigning Premier League champions are having to get creative as a result, but Barnes believes they have enough cover at their disposal to counter the absence of the England international full-back.
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He told BonusCodeBets: “One player getting injured, Trent Alexander-Arnold in this case, can’t have that sort of impact on the team where it completely stops their way of playing, it is disrespectful to the other 10 players on the pitch who are fighting for the shirt.
“Trent being injured is not something that Liverpool cannot overcome because new additions can come in and the tactics get slightly tweaked. The replacement for Trent might be more defensively sound and therefore Liverpool could concede less goals.
“When one player is missing, it is not a devastating and negative loss like some people are led to think.
“Depending on the game, we can have James Milner there, who has so much experience in the big games. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if the young boy Nico Williams plays more often than, he’s a terrific talent.”
While Liverpool find themselves short on options at the back, the opposite is true in the final third of the field.
Klopp opted to field a front four in a 1-1 draw at Manchester City - consisting of Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Diogo Jota – but Barnes believes that adventure will be reigned in over the coming weeks.
The former Reds midfielder added: “From an attacking point of view and being a Liverpool fan, it is pleasing to see all four attacking players on the field at the same time.
“Depending on the opposition that Liverpool face, perhaps we will need to play three hard-working midfielders in the middle of the park allowing the front four to go all-out attack and cause problems. It depends on the nature of the game and the quality of the opposition.
“It was great to see that Jurgen Klopp felt comfortable enough to be playing the four attacking players, but he also had trust in them to be good enough without the ball. You saw that with Firmino against Manchester City, he was defending from the front.
“If they have the right work ethic and know-how to defend as a unit, Jurgen is more than happy to play offensive football.
“In certain games, one of the attacking four won’t play. Mane, Firmino, Jota and Salah cannot all be expected to play every game. It is a question of the balance of the team, a striker can be added into the mix and Liverpool can play with five strikers, but the balance of the team is the most important thing.”