By Richard Parks
Sky Sports pundit Thierry Henry has hailed Jurgen Klopp for working wonders with home-grown trio Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Andrew Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold.
The Arsenal and France legend has been blown away by the transformation of midfielder Oxlade-Chamberlain, left-back Robertson and right-back Alexander-Arnold.
In a column for the Sky Sports website in which he raved about Oxlade-Chamberlain’s improvement, Henry explained how Klopp’s management has got the best out of him and his youthful colleagues.
“At Arsenal, there has always been a lot of debate as to what Oxlade-Chamberlain’s best position is,” said Henry. “One day he was a wing back, one day he was a left winger, one day a right winger and on another a number 10. That was the problem, we just didn’t know.
“More often than not Klopp uses him in central midfield because of Liverpool’s amazing front three. Oxlade-Chamberlain knows where he is playing and what he has to do week in, week out.
“For Liverpool, we are now seeing a midfielder that puts the pressure on the opposition at every opportunity, he wins the ball back, he scores goals and also gives assists. Now we can see clearly what type of player he is.
“We can now see clarity in his game and in what he’s being asked to do. That is what he is showing right now. All credit must go to Klopp and Oxlade-Chamberlain himself.
“You also have to give Klopp a lot of credit because it’s not only Oxlade-Chamberlain. You can talk about Andrew Robertson, Trent Alexander-Arnold and a lot of players that adapt with Klopp.”
Football Insider verdict:
Klopp has been widely regarded as a brilliant offensive coach who can set up a team to open up opponents, but struggles to cope up with successful defensive game plans. There is certainly an element of truth to that, but the improvements of Alexander-Arnold and Robertson in recent months are proof of how he can transform players whose main roles are to defend. Scot Robertson, like academy product Alexander-Arnold and another Englishman Oxlade-Chamberlain were all on the fringes of the team in the opening months of the season, but now they are first team regulars who are integral to the team’s impressive sequence of results.