Liverpool visit Championship side Nottingham Forest on Sunday in the FA Cup quarter-final, but they will be without Alexander-Arnold; there are also doubts about the fitness of Mohamed Salah who "felt his foot a little bit" after Wednesday's win at Arsenal in the Premier League
Friday 18 March 2022 13:21, UK
Trent Alexander-Arnold is facing weeks on the sidelines with a hamstring injury, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has said.
They visit Championship side Nottingham Forest on Sunday in the FA Cup quarter-final, but will be without Alexander-Arnold, who is also going to miss England's friendlies later this month.
There are also doubts about the fitness of Mohamed Salah, who Klopp says "felt his foot a little bit" after coming on as a substitute in Wednesday's 2-0 win at Arsenal in the Premier League.
Klopp said: "Trent is out with a hamstring, so will be out for England too. Not good news, we will see how long it takes."
Asked if the right-back would be facing weeks out, the German added: "Yeah."
Klopp was unsure when Alexander-Arnold would be likely to return, but said James Milner and Joe Gomez are options to fill in at right-back in his absence.
"We will see how long it will take," he added. "To replace him is difficult but possible.
"We have Milner, Gomez, these kind of things. Trent is so influential but Milner has done incredibly well in the past. We'll see how Milly is for Sunday. Maybe a young solution?"
England have nothing planned at this stage regarding a replacement for Alexander-Arnold, who was named as one of two right-backs in Gareth Southgate's 25-man squad alongside Chelsea's Reece James.
Kyle Walker was left out of the squad for the friendlies against Switzerland and Ivory Coast, but Southgate says he will return in June.
It is likely England will wait to take a view on how to handle the loss of Alexander-Arnold following the weekend's action.
The England U21 squad includes four right backs - Tariq Lamptey, Ben Johnson, Djed Spence, Tino Livramento - who will all be at St George's Park this week for the international break and could be promoted.
Sky Sports' Ben Grounds:
Alexander-Arnold will not have the opportunity to build his case as England's full-back for the World Cup over the coming fortnight, and it adds to a frustrating, stop-start international career. Sixteen caps is a modest return given the experience and trophies he has accumulated at the age of 23 for Liverpool.
It was during a warm-up game against Austria last June at the Riverside Stadium when the defender sustained a thigh injury that ruled him out of Euro 2020, and he will now have only six games at best between now and Qatar to stake a claim for the right side of Gareth Southgate's defence.
Speaking after Liverpool's 2-0 victory at Arsenal, Klopp launched a passionate defence of Alexander-Arnold, telling his critics he will "knock them down".
"If anyone says Trent can't defend, they should come to me and I'll knock them down," he told Sky Sports. "I cannot hear that anymore, I don't know what the boy has to do."
But there were moments when Gabriel Martinelli got by the full-back too easily. This was Alexander-Arnold's chance to show his international class and both sides to his game.
England have a wealth of options to replace Alexander-Arnold, but while Southgate is unlikely to call up a replacement for the forthcoming friendlies, the same luxury cannot be afforded to Klopp.
Neco Williams has been loaned out to Fulham, meaning Joe Gomez is likely to be deployed at right-back. Given his preference to play at centre-back on the rare occasions he has been called upon since returning from injury, it is a significant downgrade.
It is likely to lead to more attacks coming down the opposite flank - and you wonder how much Alexander-Arnold's absence will have a knock-on effect on Mohamed Salah given their potent combination down the right.
Jamie Carragher said on Monday Night Football that it could well be the immediate games that decide the title race rather than those on the final stretch - and that now appears to be coinciding with Alexander-Arnold's absence. His powers of recovery will be tested ahead of the date with Manchester City in early April.
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