Amongst the good news of players returning from injury and the bad news of other players needing continued rehab there are a couple of players just trying to shake off a knock and get back to business in Liverpool’s next match against Leicester City. Gini Wijnaldum and Trent Alexander-Arnold both left the pitch at Brighton and Hove Albion having sustained injuries and missed the 4-3 win at Crystal Palace.
Trent is in a leg brace for the time being and the experts are doing and saying all the good and knowledgeable things in an effort to give him every chance of playing against the Foxes on Wednesday.
Jürgen Klopp was cautious of sounding too optimistic about Trent’s situation but the manager wouldn’t rule out the young defender’s inclusion.
“He is better, much better, but we have to see,” said Klopp. “It needs to be stable – and in the moment it is stable and it’s about the pain.
“Everyone knows how desperate Trent is to play. He can ignore pretty much everything. That he played that game at Brighton was sensational, to be honest. It’s unbelievable.
“The same for Gini, who got a little injury early and it was very painful. Adrenaline is obviously really hard stuff and gives you the opportunity to grow a bit in the game, so they did.
“It will not be long [for Trent], but is he ready for Leicester? I don’t know, we will find out. Then it’s West Ham and then Bournemouth. After that he will be 100 per cent but until then, we have to see.”
Losing Trent for any period of time is a blow to the team given the 20-year-old is Liverpool’s only senior right back. With Nathaniel Clyne waltzing off to Bournemouth, Jürgen Klopp has given himself a headache to deal with.
James Milner filled in at full-back against Crystal Palace but his red card near the end of that game means he’s is unavailable to deputize at Leicester. Joe Gomez is still injured. Fabinho is a maybe, considering his performance at centre-half, but his strength is in midfield. Rafa Camacho?
“Gini is good, better,” Klopp added. “The plan is that he will have one session today and then we have to see how he reacts on that. Hopefully we can build from that point.”
Wijnaldum’s absence is always unfortunate, on a personal level, but it won’t be felt in the side as much as Alexander-Arnold missing out. Jordan Henderson is playing well and Naby Keita needs more minutes to find his rhythm. Liverpool’s midfield is in good shape.
But that right back position isn’t looking too hot. Klopp will no doubt hold a verdict on Trent to the last minute. But I’m sure the decision is easy. Leicester City have been unimpressive through January, losing to Southampton and Wolves. Don’t play Trent, he’s not needed. But Leicester did manage to beat both Chelsea and Manchester City before the turn of the year. Play Trent.