Liverpool supporters have been pretty quiet in the Transfer Tavern in the last couple of days after seeing their team let slip a two-goal advantage to end up drawing 2-2 away to the Premier League’s bottom side West Brom on Saturday.
Jurgen Klopp’s men went into their clash with the Midlands outfit off the back of a 3-0 success over Bournemouth in their previous league outing, a result which further tightened their grip on a top four place. And the Reds looked on course for another victory as goals from Danny Ings and Mohamed Salah gave them a 2-0 lead, only for the Baggies to respond admirably through Jake Livermore and Salomon Rondon to clinch a point from proceedings, although it’s unlikely to be enough to prevent their relegation to the Championship.
Thus, there have been many downbeat Reds supporters in the Tavern in recent times, several of whom have already forgotten about Saturday’s disappointment, and are instead focusing on their team’s crucial Champions League semi-final first leg against Roma on Tuesday.
In the meantime though, there has been much for our resident Liverpudlians to get their teeth into, not least recent reports suggesting that their club turned down the chance to sign Naby Keita during January, as RB Leipzig reportedly wanted Trent Alexander-Arnold in return.
As such, these recent revelations suggest that the Merseyside giants were absolutely right to back out of a move for the Guinea international, as it appears and has somewhat been proven that Klopp has needed Alexander-Arnold more in the second half of the season than he would have done Keita.
Ultimately, the 19-year-old has come on leaps and bounds under Klopp in the second half of the campaign, starting five successive Premier League games between February and March, and only missing out in recent times due to their Champions League commitments.
And it was in that competition against Manchester City which really proved Liverpool’s excellent decision to retain the right back during January, as the Englishman produced a magnificent display in the first leg at Anfield to thwart newly-crowned PFA Young Player of the Year Leroy Sane en route to their 5-1 aggregate success over Pep Guardiola’s side.
And what with Joe Gomez struggling with injuries in recent months and Nathaniel Clyne only just coming back from one, it’s clear that Klopp has needed Alexander-Arnold at right back, otherwise he would have been seriously struggling in that department.
Whereas the central midfield ranks have been well-stocked throughout the season despite the exit of Philippe Coutinho in January, with Emre Can remaining at the club beyond the winter deadline, alongside impressive performances from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jordan Henderson, James Milner, and Georginio Wijnaldum.
Ultimately, the Reds have dealt fine without Keita post-January, whereas the same would unlikely be said were they to succumb to Leipzig’s demands and lure the 23-year-old to Anfield during the winter window with Alexander-Arnold going the other way – he has been too important for the Merseysiders such have been their right back concerns.
As such, Liverpool were absolutely right to turn down the chance of a January move for Keita, as Alexander-Arnold has arguably been more important to Klopp than Keita would have been in the second half of the season.
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