Liverpool must now cope without their four most creative players

In a significant blow to Liverpool's aspirations, Trent Alexander-Arnold has been ruled out for "a few weeks" with a knee injury. Worryingly, this means that the Reds must now do without their four most creative players.

Especially in recent times, the vice-captain has been one of the side's key playmakers. Now, he joins left-back Andrew Robertson, leading scorer Mohamed Salah and star midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai, who have all been instrumental in crafting chances and unlocking opposition defences throughout the season, on the list of absentees.

These players have been the heartbeat of the team and the drive behind the team's offensive momentum - and the statistics back this up.

Chief creators

Unsurprisingly, Alexander-Arnold is Liverpool's creator-in-chief, having adapted his game significantly since the end of last season to leave his mark on games from a more central midfield position.

So far this Premier League season, the 25-year-old has created 49 chances, equating to 2.9 per 90 minutes.

Next in line is Mohamed Salah, whose electrifying pace and clinical finishing have not only made him one of the Premier League's top scorers but also a key architect in setting up goal-scoring opportunities for his fellow attackers.

The Egyptian, currently away on international duty at the African Cup of Nations, has laid on 47 chances (2.4 per 90 minutes).

When looking at 'big chances' created, Salah (17) edges past Alexander-Arnold, who has 12.

Level on 2.4 chances created per 90 is Andrew Robertson. Despite missing several months due to injury, he is still fifth on the overall list, having created 19 chances (the same as Darwin Nunez).

In fourth place is Dominik Szoboszlai, who, despite making an electric start to his time in England, had experienced a drop-off prior to his injury.

That said, the Hungary captain's creativity and vision have added a new dimension to Liverpool's midfield, offering incisive passes and innovative plays that have unlocked defences, registering 35 chances created - the equivalent of 2.0 per game.

A big void

The absence of such influential figures poses a significant challenge for coach Jurgen Klopp and his tactical approach. Their collective absence not only affects the direct chances they create but also alters the team's dynamics, forcing adjustments in the playing style and strategy.

Liverpool's ability to adapt and find alternative sources of creativity, especially from wide areas, will now be put to the test, with other players now presented with the opportunity to step up and fill the void left by these key absences.

The onus now falls on the collective strength of the squad and the tactical acumen of Klopp to ensure that the Reds remain competitive in their pursuit of silverware amid this challenging phase.

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