Wild starting XI stat explains Liverpool’s rhythm issue – as Trent shows what was missing

Trent Alexander-Arnold showed once again why he is so valuable to Liverpool, at a time when consistency has evaded Jurgen Klopp in his team selection at a level not seen since the early 1990s.

The Reds have been besieged by injuries this season, only five senior players have evaded any fitness issues, and it has left Klopp with little choice but to change his XI for nearly every game.

After making five changes at Fulham, the manager insisted his rotation “was not a gamble” as he was “100 percent convinced” it had to be done.

But what it meant was for the 51st consecutive time, Liverpool named a starting lineup that had never started together before, as per Opta’s Michael Reid – what a wild stat that is!

Only from January 1992 to the same time in 1993 did the club have a longer run when they went 65 games in succession with a brand new starting lineup.

Klopp is averaging five changes a game, and if we look at which Liverpool players sit inside FotMob‘s top 10 performers this season (above), eight have missed a combined 92 games due to injury.

It is no wonder, then, that the Reds have struggled to find consistent rhythm when the parts keep changing each and every time they play.


It’s good to have you back, Trent

It is hard not to ponder where Liverpool would be had Alexander-Arnold stayed fit for the entirety of the season, such is his influence and ability.

As per FotMob, only Cody Gakpo (8.6-out-of-10) scored a higher rating than Liverpool’s vice-captain (8.2) across both teams at Craven Cottage.

Alexander-Arnold made the most passes into the final third (15), and while only five of his 13 long ball attempts were deemed accurate, it points to the way he opens up the field like few others can.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, April 21, 2024: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold scores the first goal from a free-kick during the FA Premier League match between Fulham FC and Liverpool FC at Craven Cottage. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

He made four recoveries, failed to be dispossessed and was never dribbled past in his 80 minutes on the pitch – and we can’t forget that peach of a free-kick.

It was his sixth for Liverpool in the Premier League, a return only Steven Gerrard (seven) and Jamie Redknapp (eight) can better for the Reds – not bad company to keep.

And, in total, it was his 73rd goal contribution in the topflight since 2017/18, which, as per Squawka, is 10 more than any other defender in that time – bet it surpasses quite a few forwards too!

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