Liverpool’s push for a historic quadruple has been given a boost by the return of Trent Alexander-Arnold after the influential right-back missed England’s friendlies with a hamstring injury.
It had been feared Alexander-Arnold’s injury could keep him out of next weekend’s crucial Premier League visit to Manchester City, as well as the FA Cup semi-final against City and the Champions League quarter-final with Benfica.
However, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp confirmed the 23-year-old could return as soon as struggling Watford’s trip to Anfield on Saturday.
Liverpool trail City by just a point at the top of the Premier League and have already lifted one trophy this season with the League Cup in February.
Alexander-Arnold has been key to that success, already registering a career-high 17 assists this season.
Klopp also dismissed the suggestion he had deliberately held the player back from England’s recent matches against Switzerland and Ivory Coast to keep him fresh for the final two months of the season.
“Trent wanted to go to the national team, just to make sure that everybody (is aware) but he couldn’t,” said Klopp told reporters on Friday.
“You can see the scans, with these pictures you cannot go anywhere. But sometimes injuries, thank God, are not that serious that you are out for five or six weeks; sometimes it’s two weeks and that’s the case with Trent.
“It will be tight for tomorrow but it’s possible after all I hear. Physically, he should be fine, now I have to make the decision about rhythm and these kinds of things.”
Fears of injuries due to the demands on top players fuelled Klopp’s campaign for the Premier League to fall in line with Europe’s other major leagues and allow five substitutions per side.
Two years later, England’s top-flight clubs belatedly agreed to that rule change on Thursday, which will come into force for the 2022/23 season.
“It is top news for football and top news for the players,” added Klopp.
“We have all spoken about it, that the games won’t get less.
“With all the things we know, we try to help the players as much as we can but the games are always the most intense and everything we could do we should do.”