Trent Alexander-Arnold will have to overcome a mental hurdle in order to return to his best form at Liverpool after an injury layoff, according to Alex McLeish.
The former Scotland manager, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, has insisted the right-back will be desperate to hit the ground running but that the “tremendous” psychology team at Anfield will have to temper expectations.
As reported by the Athletic’s James Pearce, the 22-year-old is expected to return to full training this week after his calf injury and should be in contention to play against Crystal Palace on December 19.
McLeish has insisted that players can end up “overthinking” their return to action and suggested Alexander-Arnold would be working with psychology team ahead of his comeback.
McLeish told Football Insider: “It’s hard when you’re out for a wee while and you think you can come back and hit the ground running.
“Then sometimes you’ve been doing a bit of thinking, maybe overthinking, and you come back and you say: ‘Well I hope I get back to the form that I did before I was out of the team, before I got injured.’ That’s the challenge for Trent.
“I’m sure that all the clubs have got top psychology guys working with them as well and this is when their jobs come in.
“If it’s a guy that’s got the knowledge, I do actually know the guy that’s working at Liverpool, and he’s got tremendous knowledge of football and experience of football. He’s the guy who will help the young Alexander-Arnolds when they come back from injury.”
In other Leeds United news, the Reds have been tipped to sign a 25-year-old star as soon as January.