5 ways Liverpool could line up without Trent Alexander-Arnold

Though the Reds showed incredible resilience with a number of key absentees to see off Arsenal 2-0 in the FA Cup on Sunday, yet another injury is the last thing Liverpool fans will have wanted to see: especially to such a key man in the shape of Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Assistant manager Pep Lijnders announced during his press conference to preview Wednesday's Carabao Cup semi-final first leg against Fulham that the side's vice-captain is set to miss 'a few weeks' of action.

"First of all, some not-that-good news," he said. "Trent hyperextended his knee during the last game [against Arsenal]."

The Dutchman revealed the full-back had "a little tear in the lateral ligament of his knee" adding: "He will get some rest and then hopefully he can come back to where he was. Because this guy was decisive in all the games and was the one who created constantly for us from deep and gave the team a high level of flexibility. We will really miss him."

Following the game against Fulham at Anfield, the Reds have an 11-day break before resuming Premier League action against Bournemouth on 21 January.

After that comes the second leg of the Carabao Cup semi away at Fulham (24 January) and the FA Cup fourth-round tie against either Norwich or Bristol Rovers on 27 January.

Only in the best-case scenario could he return for the home league clash against Chelsea on 31 January.

So, how could Liverpool line up for these crucial games in his absence?


1) Bradley - Konate - Van Dijk - Gomez

This would be the least radical change to the side possible. It's as close as a like-for-like change as we're likely to get, plus it would keep the core, most senior players in the same positions.

Conor Bradley is clearly very highly rated by Jurgen Klopp, who used him heavily during pre-season prior to his injury.

The German also showed no hesitation in bringing him onto the field at the Emirates for a 20-minute cameo on Sunday.

Conor Bradley, Liverpool vs LASK - Propaganda

The 20-year-old, who excelled on loan at Bolton Wanderers last year, was fantastic in his one-on-one battle with Gabriel Martinelli, just as the Brazilian seemed to have Alexander-Arnold on toast. Offensively, too, he snuck his way into the penalty area and nearly got an assist.

The only issue is that he's probably not up to playing a full 90 minutes in the Premier League just yet.

2) Gomez - Konate - Van Dijk - Chambers

Luke Chambers - Propaganda

Another option would be to take advantage of Joe Gomez's versatility and switch him back to the right-hand side of defence. However, with both Andrew Robertson and Kostas Tsimikas still a few weeks away, that would leave a gap on the left.

Next in line there would be 19-year-old Luke Chambers, who's made a handful of cameos this year, most recently in the 2-1 away loss to Union Saint-Gilloise in the Europa League.

Alternatively, Owen Beck, recently recalled from his loan at Dundee FC, could also step up.

3) Jones - Konate - Van Dijk - Gomez

Don't laugh. He's played there before... this season, in fact!

Curtis Jones started the Carabao Cup clash with Leicester City at right-back and would certainly be a more natural fit for the inverted full-back role that Alexander-Arnold has made his own.

That said, with Wataru Endo missing on international duty, and Dominik Szoboszlai struggling with injury, Jones is very much needed in the engine room.

4) Konate - Quansah - Van Dijk - Gomez

Let's be clear, Ibrahima Konate is not a right-back. But, if you look closely at his defending this year, with Alexander-Arnold filling in in the centre, the Frenchman has increasingly been drawn into one-on-one battles on the right side of defence, covering more than capably against some of the league's trickiest wingers.

And, let's not forget that at RB Leipzig, he played on the right side of a back three.

So he's not as much a stranger to this position as you might think.

5) Quansah - Konate - Van Dijk - Gomez

Though primarily a centre-back, Jarell Quansah has, on occasion, played at full-back... albeit not at senior level.

While he has shown himself to be a very capable and aggressive defender this year, on the ball, he's not the most comfortable and the Reds would lose a lot of their attacking threat from this area.

That said, he could still prove to be a very reliable option.


Verdict

The way Alexander-Arnold has been playing at the moment, he's practically irreplaceable.

And the fact is, Jurgen Klopp, through a mix of injuries and international duty, doesn't have an awful lot of options available to him.

The next few games without his vice-captain are therefore going to be key and keeping disruption to a minimum is important.

That's why, Conor Bradley ought to be given a chance to show his worth to the team.

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