LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, September 27, 2023: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold before the Football League Cup 3rd Round match between Liverpool FC and Leicester City FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jurgen Klopp gives new hint at Trent Alexander-Arnold’s fitness for Spurs clash

With Trent Alexander-Arnold not part of the squad as Liverpool overcame Leicester, Jurgen Klopp hinted that he may not be fit to start at Tottenham.

The Reds earned a fourth 3-1 victory in a row on Wednesday night as they – again – came back from 1-0 down to progress to the fourth round of the League Cup.

Klopp made 10 changes to his starting lineup from the win over West Ham three days previous, with four of his starters – Alisson, Joe Gomez, Andy Robertson and Mo Salah – left out of the squad entirely.

The one player who kept his place was Curtis Jones, who captained the side in an unexpected role as right-back.

It came after Stefan Bajcetic was widely tipped to start in that position, having done so in the 3-1 victory over LASK in the Europa League.

But as Klopp explained the necessity in using Jones as right-back, he revealed fitness concerns for both Bajcetic and Gomez.

The manager also hinted that, with the midweek game “too early” for Alexander-Arnold, his No. 66 may not be ready to start in Saturday’s trip to Tottenham.

“We couldn’t play Stefan [for] long, we have to be careful with him,” Klopp told reporters.

“Joey will be OK for the weekend, but was not OK for today. For Trent it’s too early.”

Alexander-Arnold had already been ruled out for Wednesday, with assistant manager Pepijn Lijnders explaining that, while he had rejoined training on Monday, the third-round tie was “too early for him.”

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 16, 2023: Liverpool's Joe Gomez during the FA Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Liverpool FC at Molineux Stadium. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

But the fact that Gomez was also held back from the squad at Anfield, and the emergency option of Jones was used instead, could be a clue as to Klopp’s lineup for the weekend.

It seems more likely now that Gomez will start in north London, with Alexander-Arnold reintroduced from the bench after almost a month out with a hamstring injury.

That will be seen as less of a risk now, of course, given the excellent form of Gomez as stand-in right-back in recent games.

His performances – and to a lesser extent those of Jones and Bajcetic – have made it less of a priority to bring Alexander-Arnold back in as soon as possible.