Danny Murphy has claimed that dropping Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson from midfield to defence has had a negative impact on right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold.
With so many injuries in the Reds squad this season, £20million (BBC) midfielder Henderson has acted as an emergency centre-back in the past few weeks.
The 30-year-old England international has been so influential for Jurgen Klopp’s XI in the centre of the park during recent seasons, but has shown his intelligence to slot into the backline.
But pundit and ex-Liverpool star Murphy has suggested that Henderson’s absence in the midfield can effect Alexander-Arnold.
22-year-old right-back Alexander-Arnold has seen his levels drop this season from the standard he set in the past couple of years.
“I think the problem has been mainly due to the fact that his awareness of danger and his physicality helps Trent Alexander-Arnold,” Murphy told talkSPORT.
“Jordan plays on the right side of that midfield-three and he gives Trent wonderful support and cover, and so Trent has struggled a bit without him being there.
Alexander-Arnold’s game is all about the danger he can cause in the opposition’s half, as he’s an attacking full-back that is so often Liverpool’s greatest offensive threat.
He’s got a superb record of 40 assists in 162 first-team games for the Reds.
It’s a fair observation that he may not be as comfortable flying forward when Henderson is not playing in the midfield.
Henderson’s has such a key influence all over the pitch when he features and his industrious work in the midfield is missed when he has to cover at centre-half.