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“You can have my f**king salary!” – Pep Lijnders reveals his No.6 promise to Klopp

Trent Alexander-Arnold‘s move into an inverted full-back was the brainchild of Pep Lijnders, who has revealed he laid down the law for Jurgen Klopp after the manager hesitated over the change.

The final run of games in the 2022/23 season saw the Scouser take on a hybrid midfield role at a time when Liverpool were struggling for results and needed energy injected into the middle.

It was a move that paid off and was persisted with this season, and even when Alexander-Arnold was not on the pitch, we saw the likes of Joe Gomez and Conor Bradley take on the role.

The Redmen TV recently filmed a brilliant tactical deep dive with Lijnders, and the Dutchman discussed his vision for the No. 66 and his passionate promise to Klopp if his idea was dismissed.

He explained: “My idea constantly was the best No. 6 I had in the U16s was Trent Alexander-Arnold.

“It’s not to only have extra players inside, to have four here (in the midfield), to have the same as what Bobby Firmino did.

“But it’s also to have Trent in a position where the ball can fly from left to right.

“What I said constantly to Jurgen was, ‘We have to do it.’ ‘But Pep, blah blah blah’. ‘We have to do it’.

“Until I was so sick of it that I went to Jurgen in this office and said, ‘Jurgen, next year you can f***ing have all my f***ing salary if we don’t do it in the next game, it’s done for me. I can’t.

“‘We need the extra player, we need Trent there. I tell you it will work, it will work’.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, October 11, 2022: Liverpool's Roberto Firmino (L) and assistant manager Pepijn Lijnders during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group A matchday 4 game between Glasgow Rangers FC and Liverpool FC. (Pic by Jessica Hornby/Propaganda)

His idea certainly had merit and success, and it was interesting to hear Lijnders explain how Roberto Firmino‘s absence at the backend of 2022/23 and his impending departure changed everything.

The Brazilian did not play a traditional No. 9 role and was that extra body in midfield, which Lijnders explained “means you can control the game. If you lose the ball, you have players close to each other.”

Continuing, he said: “We had only three players [in midfield]. Darwin is not a player to drop deep like that, Lucho can do it but [he’s] a winger and Mo, no.

“So now who becomes the extra player there? We can buy a Cody Gakpo to try and do it like that, but he’s a left winger.

SINGAPORE - Saturday, July 29, 2023: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold (L) and manager Jürgen Klopp during a training session ahead of the pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and Leicester City FC at the Singapore National Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“We can find a different solution, but you’re searching because you have a game every three days.”

It is only one of a number of interesting tactical insights in the deep dive offered by Lijnders, who is now to go out on his own after being appointed as Salzburg’s new manager.

As for what Arne Slot has in store for Alexander-Arnold moving forward, time will tell!