Liverpool are set to be handed a major injury boost by the end of the week, with Trent Alexander-Arnold ready to step up his return from a calf problem.
The England international limped off against Manchester City almost a month ago, leaving manager Jurgen Klopp with a major injury headache, given the ongoing unavailability of Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and many, many others.
Neco Williams and James Milner have deputised at right-back in the interim, but Alexander-Arnold now looks to be closing on a return to action after The Athletic’s James Pearce revealed that he’s expected to be back in training by the end of the week.
Alexander-Arnold is unlikely to feature against Wolves this weekend, but Klopp – speaking prior to the Reds’ victory over Ajax in the Champions League – did hint (via the Metro) that a return to action is edging closer.
“They [Alexander-Arnold, Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri] are all getting closer to being back,” he revealed. “I saw him today on the pitch doing his rehab stuff outside so that looks good but I cannot deiced when this rehab stuff is finished, I take the players when I get the green light.”
News of Alexander-Arnold’s impending return had obviously lightened Klopp’s mood after an extraordinary post-match rant at the weekend. The German laid into BT Sport’s Des Kelly after Milner was forced off against Brighton with a hamstring injury, offering his ‘congratulations’ that Liverpool’s hectic schedule had resulted in another problem for one of his players. The game finished 1-1.
Consequently, Williams played the full 90 minutes against Ajax as Curtis Jones punished Andre Onana’s mistake to claim the game’s only goal, sealing the Reds’ place in the last 16 of the Champions League.
As soon as Alexander-Arnold is fit, an immediate return to the starting lineup is likely. The 22-year-old has combined with fellow full-back Andrew Robertson to directly contribute to 22 goals this calendar year, though he’s yet to fire on all cylinders during the 2020/21 campaign.