Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has revealed bizarrely why he decided to drop Trent Alexander-Arnold against Manchester City.
England full-back Alexander-Arnold was left out against the champions with Joe Gomez filling in at right-back in the 0-0 draw.
“He is a fantastic boy and a fantastic player. Thank God we have a few options to change the line-up,” said Klopp, who had started Alexander-Arnold in the previous seven games.
“I don’t think it’s a challenge but if a player struggles with something like that [being dropped] he will struggle over his career.
“It was his birthday the City game so I thought the night before a lot of people might have contacted him so I didn’t want to disturb all these message exchanges.
“Joe can play there and with respect deserved to play. I think about the players I line-up first not what it would mean for Trent. It was nothing. He came back in a good shape and a good mood.”
Klopp has had to cope without numerous members of his squad this week due to internationals, but although he admits he has to change the preparation in such weeks he says his men will be ready to go in West Yorkshire.
“We know what they [international players] did intensity-wise during the week. We can watch the games but what they do in training you cannot know,” added Klopp.
“We cannot ignore the travelling when you fly overnight and change time zones two or three times in eight or nine days.
“They are ready but I have to make a decision how ready they are.”