Liverpool bested a poor Manchester United side to gain their first league victory over their biggest rivals since 2013 today; although the likes of Shaqiri, Fabinho and Mane will (rightly) garner the majority of the credit, the performance of Nathaniel Clyne may have gone under the radar.
Despite Liverpool’s current crisis at right-back, it was still somewhat of a surprise to see Clyne start his first league match of the season, let alone play the full ninety minutes, especially considering Klopp’s comments a few days before the match.
However, Clyne was very solid throughout and reminded fans just how good an option he can be; while he isn’t going to dazzle, particularly not when going forward, he’s dependable and showed he can be a useful option over the festive period with Alexander-Arnold and Gomez currently side-lined.
Supporters appeared to be incredibly impressed on Twitter, citing Clyne’s professionalism to slot in and do such a competent job in what is probably the biggest game of the season:
Massive credit to @Nathaniel_Clyne today, first league start of the season to perform like that speaks volumes of his character and professionalism. Did a really solid job.
— Joel Rabinowitz (@joel_archie) December 16, 2018
Credit to Clyne. Came back into this side and produces a great defensive display, bar one badly timed tackle. Great squad-player.
— Robin (@Robish13) December 16, 2018
Let me tell you something, Nathaniel Edwin Clyne is an absolute baller. So happy to see him back in the squad.
— – (@AnfieldRd96) December 16, 2018
— Anfield Edition (@AnfieldEdition) December 16, 2018
Although he’s favoured Trent Alexander-Arnold this season and has rarely opted to use Clyne, Klopp was also full of praise for the Englishman following the game, mentioning his “ability to adapt” as something that stood out in a game where he was “outstanding”.
Albeit the fact it’s unlikely we’ll see Clyne as Liverpool’s first-choice right-back going forward, he proved today he can more than have his use for the Reds since this season and for someone who has only played 3 times in 17 months, he put in a very good performance.