‘Is this a joke?’ – Trent Alexander-Arnold explains how Liverpool squad learnt of Jurgen Klopp exit

    Trent Alexander-Arnold has revealed the Liverpool squad did not receive much prior warning that Jurgen Klopp was going to leave the club.

    Klopp will stand down from his position as manager at the end of the 2023/24 season, bringing down the curtain on one of the Reds’ most memorable eras.

    While the German confirmed to the Liverpool board in private of this decision back in November, the wider world did not find out until his announcement in late January.

    Speaking to Jamie Carragher at a Football For Change event on Monday, Alexander-Arnold admitted Klopp’s decision took the dressing room by surprise and detailed how they found out.

    Jurgen Klopp, Virgil van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold

    Klopp appointed Van Dijk as captain and Alexander-Arnold vice-captain for his final season / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages

    “It started like a normal day. Then the manager called a meeting at 10:30am, which we had never had before, so everyone was like, ‘What’s going on?’,” Alexander-Arnold said, as quoted by The Athletic.

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    “He came into the changing rooms and told us there was news breaking as he was speaking. So we found out as players at the same time as everyone else but he told us personally.

    “He said that this had to be his last season, that he needed a break to spend time with his family. I didn’t know what to do. You think, ‘Is this a joke?’. None of us were expecting it. After he left the room, everyone was just sat there thinking, ‘Has that just happened?’. Then you have to get on with it, going out to train in an hour, doing your job.”

    When asked if the players are motivated by giving Klopp a fitting send-off, Alexander-Arnold replied: “100%. That was something that Virgil [van Dijk] said to us all after Jurgen had told us. He said: ‘This is huge news that’s going to rock the footballing world but we can’t let it distract us, we have to use it as motivation. The manager has led us to so much success, he’s enabled us to fulfil our dreams, so we owe it to him to give everything we possibly can to give him the best send-off’.

    “Virg said if people think this is going to make us take our eye off the ball then we need to prove them wrong. It was big news but as professionals, you have to get your head around it quickly and move on.”


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