Perhaps lost a bit in the build-up to and subsequent triumph in the Champions League match against FC Porto was the news that Nathaniel Clyne was included as part of the traveling squad. Now, though, we have actual words from Jurgen Klopp, at the training camp in Marbella, on what Reds fans can expect with regards to Nathaniel Clyne. Spoiler alert: it’s pretty good news.
“Clyney needs a little bit of time, that’s true, but [he looks] very good...You can see Clyney is just a really good football player and when he’s fully fit, we will have a comfortable situation in that position.”
It looks, then, that the squad won’t be too far from having Clyne-bot back in the fold. Which is great news as while Then Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez have both more than proven themselves to be capable at manning the flank, it will undoubtedly be a big help to have Clyne around not only to provide an extra body but also necessary veteran experience and leadership. That’s not to say that there won’t be some mild concern regarding playing time and rotation with three choices available at right back, but considering that TAA has had to put in quite a bit more work than he’s been accustomed to, this can only be seen as a very real positive.
On that note, Jurgen agrees:
“All three can’t play, unfortunately! With the full-backs it’s always a little bit [difficult] and also who can play in another position as well. It’s quite specialist – so you either play or you’re not really involved.
Trent did what he did and it’s the first time he’s started three games in a row – I don’t think he thought he could do that. At Southampton, I thought maybe he was a little bit on the edge, but we had no other opportunity [to change] so we had to do it again [at Porto] and he did fantastic.”
All told, this is a very positive development for the Reds with a spot in the Champions League Quarterfinals all but booked and a fight for Top 4 in the league still very much wide open. Now is as good a time as any to welcome back Nathaniel Clyne into the squad.