Uncomfortable conversation arises about Liverpool star after poor form
Over the years, the defender was the gold-standard for attacking full-backs in world football, consistently putting up numbers with the very best creative attacking midfielders in the league and beyond.
But, last season, Klopp made a change. He looked to invert his full-backs to help sure up his midfield and it simultaneously brought Alexander-Arnold to a more central position, rather than out-wide.
At the start, it worked. From April 9 onwards, they won seven out of their final 10 games, with Alexander-Arnold producing a great run of form with six assists in five games before then adding another goal and assist in the final three games.
It seemed to work, and Liverpool looked more creative and dangerous and successful as a result. But his form prior to that showed just two assists in 30 games - his worst showing in a league season since coming into the side in 2017.
While Liverpool have started the season in fine form, losing just the once, Alexander-Arnold has seen a large chunk of his creative stats that, in any other season would be extremely high, experience a drop-off. Of course, fans will vehemently defend their star man, but the numbers are clear to see.
For example, he has been dribbled past more times p/90 than in any season since 16/17 and he’s produced the fewest long balls completed p/90 than in any season since 17/18.
In terms of chances created, his 1.8 p/90 ranks him 44th in the division and seventh amongst defenders and his 0.15 expected assists p/90 is the lowest since 17/18 and down 0.25 from 22/23.
The numbers equate to one simple conclusion - he’s out of form. Or we could say that his exceptionally high standards have warped our expectations; his previous seasons were something unlike anything we had ever seen before and the immortality of those seasons and achievements will always live on.
With just the one assist this season so far, he will certainly be wanting to see an improvement. But as long as Liverpool keep winning and they keep beating teams and keeping clean sheets then there shouldn’t be any real concern for now. He also defended admirably against one of the league’s most dangerous wingers in Karou Mitoma recently against Brighton, for example.
Granted, perhaps the positional change at international level could have had an impact, but we can probably just chalk this one down to poor form rather than any glaring tactical or technical issues - he remains a crucial part of this Liverpool side, regardless of form.