Jurgen Klopp explains reasoning for new ‘hybrid’ Trent Alexander-Arnold position

Jurgen Klopp gave a brief insight into the new position that Trent Alexander-Arnold starred in during Liverpool’s 6-1 thrashing of Leeds on Monday night.

Throughout the game, Liverpool’s right-back took up an atypical, “inverted” spot. He was regularly alongside Fabinho in an almost double pivot in midfield, whilst still providing cover down the right flank.

This fresh role allowed Alexander-Arnold much more freedom to get on the ball. As a result, he completed 124 passes and provided two assists in a virtuoso performance. This tactical adjustment seems to have worked well for both player and team in limited testing.

Speaking post-match to Sky Sports, Klopp quickly explained that this new hybrid position and tactics may get more out of Trent Alexander-Arnold and provide defensive stability.

“Both [midfield and right-back], it’s both,” confirmed the Liverpool boss on his star’s new role, via Football Daily. “Because it’s Trent, it’s both. I think the goal from Darwin is an exceptional pass, and in the first half, he hit a couple of super passes to Mo [Salah] and Henderson.

“So yes, he can be both. But in general, you’re right. We need to be better protected as well. Because we have conceded too many counterattacks, we’ve lost the ball at the wrong moments.

“I think as well, when we lost the ball, the reaction was completely different tonight. And we didn’t lose that many balls; we were very calm on the ball. The one we lost in completely the wrong moment is the one we concede – that’s not one to protect anymore.

“But we must be able to protect and for that, the formation suits us much better.”

The England international’s leading performance gave Liverpool another big win in 2022/23.

Leeds 1-6 Liverpool

Leeds’ relegation worries continued to mount as they shipped yet more goals in a 6-1 defeat at Elland Road.

Liverpool took the lead in rather controversial circumstances during the first half. Trent Alexander-Arnold appeared to handle the ball in the build-up to setting up Cody Gakpo – but VAR did not intervene.

Just minutes later, the Reds doubled their advantage via a thumping finish from Mo Salah.

Leeds hinted at a comeback shortly after the interval. Luis Sinisterra pounced on an Ibrahima Konate error to make the score 2-1. However, their quest for a turnaround ended up being rather short-lived. Diogo Jota scored his first goal in over a year to restore the visitor’s two-goal cushion before a glorious counterattack saw Mo Salah make it 4-1.

From here, Jurgen Klopp’s side continued to dominate possession as the energy dwindled from the home side. When Jota fired home his second on 73 minutes, the result was definitely a foregone conclusion.

Aside from the win, fans from Merseyside will be glad to see the return of Luis Diaz and Thiago. The pair came off the bench late on at Elland Road, marking their recoveries from injury. It was a different sub who got the sixth goal, though.

Trent Alexander-Arnold – thriving in his inverted full-back position – found Darwin Nunez with an excellent pass. The Uruguayan then showed great composure to bring the ball under control and finish past Illan Meslier.

This emphatic win sees Liverpool remain eighth but close the gap on those in the European slots. Meanwhile, Leeds stay perilously close to the drop zone, just two points above the bottom three.

Featured image credit: Getty