Nathaniel Clyne is back fit, having played 90 minutes with the U23s, and despite being sidelined the entire season to-date there have been reports that the defender has looked impressive in training—has looked as though he hasn’t missed a minute.
If that’s the case, it would give Liverpool unprecedented depth at right back, with three players good enough to start regularly for a top four side. That’s good news for the club, of course, but even one of the right backs says he sees the positives in it.
“I think that competition for places has to be a big part of Liverpool Football Club,” Trent Alexander-Arnold told the club’s official website. ”To have a real squad depth and to know that you need to fight for your position is healthy.
“If you’ve got two or three players in each position who want to start and who can compete to start in each game, then every single day in training you’ve got people fighting for the spot. Healthy competition is always good.”
Of course, whichever of Alexander-Arnold, Clyne, or Joe Gomez ends up third on the depth chart when everything’s said and done may not feel quite so good about that competition by the time the rest of the season’s played out.
Even then, though, if all three are good enough to start and there aren’t minutes for that many right backs, there’s a chance a fully fit Clyne would allow a reshuffle at other positions—centre half and perhaps even holding midfield.
It’s no secret Gomez projects as a career centre half, and he now has enough minutes under his belt to perhaps displace Ragnar Klavan as fourth for the position. And some fans like to imagine Alexander-Arnold eventually moving up the pitch.
Changes like that, though, are likely to take place over the offseason when the focus isn’t on preparing for the next opponent. So, for the time being, Liverpool may just have to deal with having unprecedented depth at right back.
“That’s really healthy for the team moving forward,” Alexander-Arnold added, “because every day we’re making each other better and with that the results get better, the performances get better, and we improve as a team.”