Salah still influential for Liverpool, says Alexander-Arnold

Liverpool full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold says despite struggling to match last season's form, Mohamed Salah is still vital for the Reds.

Trent Alexander-Arnold shakes hands with world chess champion Magnus Carlsen   -  Kaspersky Lab

Mohamed Salah is still proving influential for Liverpool despite the Egypt star struggling to match last season's remarkable goalscoring feats in the early stages of this campaign, says team-mate Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Salah hit 44 goals in all competitions in his debut season for the Reds after joining from Roma, but has been less effective in the early weeks of 2018-19.

The forward, who sustained a shoulder injury in the Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid, has only scored once since August.

But Alexander-Arnold feels expectation levels placed on the 26-year-old, last season's Golden Boot winner in the Premier League, are unfair as Liverpool aim to compete on multiple fronts.

"He's had a record-breaking season so it was always going to be tough to do that again," Alexander-Arnold told Omnisport.

"But I think he's still showing that he's got a lot of talent and he's still influencing the game for us. And he's still showing how good he is on the pitch.

"It's just about keeping the momentum going and it doesn't matter whether it's Champions League or Premier League, or whatever trophy you're going for, you've got to focus on the opponent that lies ahead.

"No matter what the competition is we're not going to take it easy, we're going to fight for it and try and win as much silverware as we can."

After being dropped for Sunday's 0-0 draw at home to Premier League title rivals Manchester City, Alexander-Arnold will link up with England for a Nations League double-header against Croatia and Spain.

The defender capped a breakthrough season at club level by being named in Gareth Southgate's squad for the World Cup, although he only made one appearance as the Three Lions reached the last four.

"We were disappointed with getting beaten in the semis [by Croatia], we wanted to reach the final and even win the tournament," the Liverpool full-back added.

"That's the aim now to keep pushing forward and keep working hard and hopefully in two years' time at the Euros we'll be able to go a couple of steps further."

Alexander-Arnold was speaking after he was beaten by world chess champion Magnus Carlsen at an event organised by Kaspersky Lab.

And the 20-year-old, dubbed the 'Melwood Grandmaster' for his love of the game, explained how chess can give him an advantage on the pitch.

"It helps with concentration," Alexander-Arnold said after Carlsen beat him in 17 moves.

"Because obviously it takes a lot of concentration throughout both games to really focus on what your opponent is doing and how they're trying to attack and hurt you.

"I think you can take notes from both of them and use them in each other's games."

Trent Alexander-Arnold failed to beat world chess champion Magnus Carlsen, in a match organised by cyber security giants Kaspersky Lab ahead of next months World Chess Championship.  

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