Liverpool may be in a spot of bother with injuries at centre half, but elsewhere on the pitch the team is working its way back to full fitness, giving manager Jürgen Klopp a wealth of options heading into the season’s final third.
It’s not just a matchday boost for the manager, though. According to Trent Alexander-Arnold, himself returning from a layoff and expected to be fit to face Bayern Munich, seeing injured players come back gives everyone a lift.
“It’s something that lifts the spirits massively,” he said of training alongside Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Rhian Brewster for the first time in a year. “You see them every day in the treatment room, you see them around.
“It’s been a really long journey for both of them. Ox’s has been more high-profile than Rhian’s, but Rhian has put in just as much hard work as Ox has. A lot of credit needs to go to him at such a young age.
“The pair of them are a credit to themselves and epitomise the spirit around the team and around the club, that it is going to be very difficult to break that spirit and they’ll bounce back whenever there are setbacks.”
That resiliency in the face of injury is necessary to be successful as an athlete, both individually and as a group, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy and both players faced a monumental challenge being out for so long.
Alexander-Arnold’s own injury wasn’t nearly as bad, but it was still the first extended absence forced on the young fullback and a challenge for him to work through—mentally as much as physically.
Now, though, he’s back, and along with Oxlade-Chamberlain and Brewster and the rest of Liverpool’s first team, the focus turns to Bayern Munich and Manchester United and the league and Champions League.
“It was something new and something to get my head around,” he added. “It was tough. But it’s thanks to the manager, the physios, and the medical department in helping me get back so quickly—ahead of schedule.
“I feel good. It was good to get a bit of fitness in there at the weekend and that’ll help me get back to full fitness and to push on and hopefully start a few games in the next few weeks.”