???️ Liverpool’s Right Back Situation

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Last season one of the main areas of our squad that needed reinforcements was at full back. Either side had minimal squad depth. Left back had us using James Milner out of position to fill a short-term gap due to Moreno’s poor form and at right back. On the other side, we just had old reliable Nathanial Clyne and Trent ready to come in if he ever got injured but back then Trent has not been properly tested, only really getting game time against lower league sides in the cup. Now however we seem to have some serious squad depth on both sides. The signing of Robertson, the resurgence of Alberto Moreno and Gomez getting back to match fitness has all made sure that we are sorted in the full back positions for the season. Not to mention we have Nathanial Clyne to come back into the team! So, this gives us a problem, a good problem but a problem none the less at right back. Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold have done an excellent job filling in for the English international and it does seem a bit unfair that they would lose their place in the starting XI when he comes back, though not fault of their own.  Yet for the latter half of the season, where the spoils of war will be decided you can make an argument that a more experienced head will be needed. Gomez is a very versatile player. He can play well across the back four for the Reds and has proved that he has the head to play in the big games putting in a man of the match performance against Manchester United at the weekend. Out of him and Trent he has been the more solid defensively. However, it is his strengths that could inevitably mean that when Clyne comes back he could end up spending more time on the bench then he would like.   Klopp prefers attacking full backs. You only need to look back at his Dortmund team to figure out the makeup of his perfect full back. Piszczek is the best example, fast and good in attack. That’s what he wants. Trent-Alexander Arnold fits that mould a lot better than the other right backs at our disposal as both Clyne and Gomez are more defensive and don’t have that same level of skill that Trent possesses. Because of this I think that Clyne is more likely to take Gomez’s place in the rotation at right back then Trent. I think that Gomez will be closer to getting in the team ahead of Lovren then he is ahead of Clyne. I see him as our first-choice backup centre back as I am losing patience with Klavan at the back. As I have already mentioned I see Trent as Klopps long term right back going forward. His pace and trickery is amazing and he can put in a bloody good ball. Even showed prowess taking a set piece! Where Trent needs to improve is mentally. I do think that sometimes in the big games it can get to him mentally, you can see that when he takes an age to take a throw in he looks nervous. Best example of that is in the Man City game where his lack of experience was telling. That is where having a fit Nathanial Clyne will be a big boost, he is the big game player who will defend well in those tight encounters. That is of course if he can get up to speed quick enough, he has missed pre-season and a lot of football, so getting that match fitness will take time for him. Trent and Gomez have shown that they are capable of playing at the highest level, it is a true credit to how well they are playing that I haven’t even spoken about poor Jon Flanagan who I still love, even though I don’t know how much of a future he has at the club long term. For the short term though, I see Trent as Clyne’s understudy going forward. With Gomez knocking on that door at centre back.   Article by Tom Culshaw      
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