Tag Archives: Jurgen

Liverpool have already been sent Jurgen Klopp exit warning by Dortmund and FSG must listen

Liverpool: Klopp insits squad still have hunger

“We did not try to change his mind anymore. But that was maybe a mistake. Perhaps it would have been better if we had changed the entire team – not the coach. Because I knew that, we would never get back such a coach.” The words of Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke in his 2019 biography, True love: a life with BVB, discussing Jurgen Klopp’s exit.
Klopp called quits on a seven-year spell with Dortmund in the summer of 2015, having delivered two Bundesliga titles, a DFB Pokal and two Supercups as well as taking the club to a first Champions League final since 1997, only the second in the club’s history. Their familiar conquerors Bayern Munich downed them at Wembley.

The manager’s last season saw Dortmund enter the winter break in the relegation zone before a Lazarus-like recovery in the second half of the season saw them qualify for the Europa League and at least send Klopp out on a high, even though the campaign overall was a disappointing one.

Just like when he arrived at Liverpool, Dortmund were on their knees when Klopp took over, even more so in fact. He transformed them in the same style he did the Merseyside club and overcame the might of Bayern – twice. Despite working with limited resources. That, simply, is what he does.

Since Klopp left, Dortmund have won one trophy, the DFB Pokal under now Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel in 2017. Their best league season saw them finish two points behind Bayern Munich in 2018-19.

In the other five years since the German left though, they’ve ended 10 points, 18 points, 29 points and 13 points off of Bayern, who can win a ninth straight league title this season. The gap between Bayern and Dortmund down in sixth right now stands at 16 points with 10 games to go. Marco Rose will take over next year, becoming the sixth man at the helm since Klopp left six years ago.

Liverpool have already been sent Jurgen Klopp exit warning by Dortmund and FSG must listen

Liverpool have already been sent Jurgen Klopp exit warning by Dortmund and FSG must listen (Image: GETTY)

Liverpool have already been sent Jurgen Klopp exit warning by Dortmund and FSG must listen

Liverpool have already been sent Jurgen Klopp exit warning by Dortmund and FSG must listen (Image: GETTY)

Dortmund didn’t sack Klopp, he walked away himself. But might he have stayed if the hierarchy had promised to build him a new-look team that could challenge for major honours? Possibly. We’ll never truly know – but clearly Watzke and the higher powers at the Signal Iduna Park feel in hindsight that there was another chapter to be written.

With Klopp now in his sixth season (his fifth full season) with Liverpool, the club are in the midst of a full-blown crisis. No doubt about it. It is their worst sustained spell of results for a decade. Comparisons have naturally been drawn with his last year at Dortmund.

“I had a situation at Dortmund after a very successful spell and then it’s not that easy,” Klopp said last week. “But it’s not even close, the situation. At Dortmund, it was not even half as bad, from an injury point of view, as it is here now.”

This is unquestionably the nadir of Klopp’s managerial spell at Liverpool, coming so soon after the overwhelming highs of a Champions League triumph and a Premier League in back-to-back seasons. They won 196 of an available 228 points in the league over those two campaigns and the latter was the first in which they ended as champions for 30 years. This year they’ve collected 43 from an available 84 and are staring at a finish outside the top six, maybe even outside the top eight.

Liverpool have just suffered a sixth-straight Anfield defeat for the first time in their entire 129-year history. The latest was as predictable as it was meek, Fulham playing well but never really being properly tested bar one or two moments.

The Reds, all of a sudden, have become the easiest team to play against in the Premier League. Especially at Anfield, which would have been a farcical claim to make as recently as mid-January.

Between 30 January 2019 and 16 December 2020, Liverpool won 33 of 34 Anfield league matches – drawing to Burnley in the other – and enjoyed a run of 24 straight victories. They’ve now not won in eight straight league games at home, scoring only one open play goal in that time and losing 1-0 four times.

Liverpool have already been sent Jurgen Klopp exit warning by Dortmund and FSG must listen

Liverpool have already been sent Jurgen Klopp exit warning by Dortmund and FSG must listen (Image: GETTY)

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The drop-off has been staggering. In their 14 games since beating Crystal Palace 7-0 away from home in December they have picked up 12 points from an available 42. By contrast from the first 14 games of this term, they amassed 31 points, winning nine, drawing four and losing one.

It is the perfect storm of problems, with injuries at the very heart of it. Liverpool have been crippled by fitness woes and the structure of the side has been hurt. Players have had to play too many minutes and be relied too heavily upon. Gini Wijnaldum and Andy Robertson are two of them and both look blown out.

Yet injuries can no longer be the sole excuse, for that would allow some of the players to be excused from blame. They cannot. For as much as it has been an incredibly taxing season, for a team who have exerted incredible energy the past few years both physical and emotional, they are simply so much better than this. They were in December, when they were top.

Confidence has now clearly gone too and the body language has changed dramatically. There is no simple solution to all these issues. Mixing up the team didn’t work against Fulham, despite the underperforming Trent Alexander-Arnold and Sadio Mane dropping to the bench with Roberto Firmino, equally as poor this term, also out due to a minor injury. Would a change of formation help? Possibly. Will it happen? Probably not.

Whether the Champions League can provide some respite remains to be seen – most likely not, given the calibre of quarter-final opponents they could come up against if they even manage to get past RB Leipzig. It is completely feasible they will squander their two-goal lead to the Bundesliga title hopefuls in the second leg of their last 16 tie on current form.

There are also more league defeats still to come for Liverpool and with them will come more pressure and more outside questions of just how many losses can be withstood before Klopp’s long-term future is called into question.

This Liverpool team simply needs to drag itself through until the end of the season and recollect ahead of 2021-22. It would be helpful if it could restore some pride at Anfield before then. 

The probability of FSG cutting ties with the 53-year-old coach, even if Liverpool lose another five games of their last 10, is almost zero. So it should be. There is no manager in world football with whom Liverpool could replace Klopp who would be an upgrade on the German, provided he’s hungry to do the job. And make no mistake he is.

Liverpool: Klopp outlines what needs to change

Liverpool have already been sent Jurgen Klopp exit warning by Dortmund and FSG must listenLiverpool have already been sent Jurgen Klopp exit warning b

Liverpool have already been sent Jurgen Klopp exit warning by Dortmund and FSG must listen (Image: GETTY)

It is not simply that this squad needs to hear a fresh voice, similar to how Chelsea have improved under Thomas Tuchel since Frank Lampard was sacked in January. The same could be said when Antonio Conte came in after Jose Mourinho’s exit.

Waiting for players to return from injury will not solve all of Liverpool’s problems, especially the psychological scars that will stem from such a losing streak. It is very easy to get into the habit of losing – and very hard to get out of it. Instead, the squad needs improving and refreshening in several areas.

The club’s Boston-based owners need to ensure that Klopp is adequately backed. Right now, Liverpool need at the very least a new centre-back – Joel Matip is constantly injured and Ozan Kabak doesn’t appear the long-term solution – a new midfielder to replace Gini Wijnaldum and a new forward to rival the likes of Firmino and Mane.

Those all need to be top-level players capable of starting regularly, they have to be Diogo Jota-level additions. Then they need to strengthen the depth of their squad too. Divock Origi and Xherdan Shaqiri will need to be replaced with better options, for starters. Is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain offering enough? There are plenty of questions and a lot of work needs to be done.

Reshaping a squad and knowing when players have gone past their peak, a job Sir Alex Ferguson was masterful at with Manchester United, is not something Klopp is familiar with. But he is the right manager to oversee the rebuild. He’s built one great team at Anfield but they are now physically and mentally drained – you can see it in their faces. The squad needs a facelift because this is no longer a blip. And those returning from injury will not be enough to totally transform the team back into what it was 12 months ago.

With the Champions League cash gone, it might be on Liverpool’s owners to find a solution to ensure the squad’s rejuvenation is properly funded so that Klopp does not have to settle for third, fourth or fifth choice targets instead of who he and Michael Edwards really want. The lure of playing for Klopp’s Liverpool should still be there for most players, even if not for all. FSG must ensure he has the finances to bolster the squad as he sees fit, that be through bank loans or by using money out of their own back pocket. 

Liverpool have already been sent Jurgen Klopp exit warning by Dortmund and FSG must listen

Liverpool have already been sent Jurgen Klopp exit warning by Dortmund and FSG must listen (Image: GETTY)

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Manchester City are back at breakneck speed again and Manchester United and Chelsea are among the teams closing the gap in the chasing pack. If the Reds lose Klopp in the next couple of years, it’ll be a long time before they can be the hunted rather than the hunter. 

Not properly backing him would leave them more vulnerable to an approach from Germany. There is a real chance that Die Mannschaft will come calling if Joachim Low leaves post-Euros later this year or after the World Cup in December 2022. There is an increasing amount of noise suggesting Klopp would consider cutting short his Liverpool contract, that runs until 2024, to take up the national team job if he’s offered it.

Would he really leave Liverpool before then? Well it’s no secret that Klopp would liked to have spent more than he has been able to in the past couple of years. His comments in January suggested that FSG told him he could not sign a new centre-half at the start of January.

Klopp said then: “I am not a five-year-old kid any more and if I don’t get what I want I start crying.” But it’s clear he needs to be backed if he is to build a new team.

Liverpool then signed Kabak on loan and Ben Davies, yet to even play a single minute, for nominal fees. They are stopgaps at best. Taking the same approach into the summer will put far too much pressure on the players returning to catapult them back into contention for major honours. Asking Jordan Henderson and Virgil van Dijk to have that impact alone will result in disappointment. This squad have already been asked too much of both physically and mentally.

The best thing to ever happen to FSG was and is Klopp – without him, none of their success as Liverpool’s owners would have been possible. Perhaps no other manager in the world would be able to build what he has on Liverpool’s finances. It’s not a shoestring budget, but his net spend since his arrival is just £103m. Pep Guardiola’s at Manchester City is £400m more, and the options the Catalan can call upon off the substitutes’ bench are significantly superior to that of Klopp’s. 

Whether he can do it again is uncertain but FSG must ensure Klopp’s kept happy and convinced that the club match his ambition because if they want more major titles before their ownership ends – he is the man to deliver them. If he leaves, Liverpool will surely be left to regret it. Dortmund were.

Rangers ending Celtic streak proves Steven Gerrard can replace Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool

Rangers ended a long and painful nine-year wait for a Scottish Premiership title on Sunday afternoon when Celtic’s draw at Dundee United confirmed the news many supporters had been dreaming of all season. Steven Gerrard’s men have been utterly dominant throughout the campaign, with their superiority reflected in their insurmountable 20-point lead over their Old Firm rivals who have endured a torrid time all season.
The former Liverpool midfielder has made a sensational start to his career in management since taking the Rangers job in May 2018.

Gerrard arrived after the conclusion of a disappointing campaign in which the Glasgow giants finished in third place behind Celtic and runners-up Aberdeen.

His appointment was initially met with a mixed reaction, with some supporters optimistic given his illustrious playing career while others expressed their preference for a manager with more experience.

The scale of the challenge in overturning Celtic’s dominance could easily have scared Gerrard away in search of an easier introduction to senior management.

However, his decision to take on the role has proved to be the best thing to happen to Rangers since their liquidation nine years ago.

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The 40-year-old has utterly transformed the club’s fortunes, displaying a brilliant combination of tactical prowess, effective man-management ability and shrewd transfer dealings in order to fire the Light Blues back to the top of the Scottish game.

His astonishing work, rewarded with Sunday’s elation after helping Rangers to reclaim the domestic crown, suggests that he could be a natural heir to Jurgen Klopp when the Liverpool boss finally departs.

The decorated German is overseeing a crisis on Merseyside, with the Reds on a run of six straight defeats at home for the first time in their long and storied history.

Although it seems unlikely that he will be sacked as a result of their recent woes, it would not be impossible for the club’s hierarchy to wield the axe in search of a clean slate under a new boss.

If Liverpool decide to replace Klopp before the expiry of his contract, they would be crazy to pass up the opportunity to seal a fairytale return for one of their greatest players.

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Gerrard knows the club inside out and back to front, and would undoubtedly receive the instant backing of nearly every Reds fan on the planet.

Although some may feel that it could be too early for the former England midfielder to try his luck in the Premier League, especially at one of the biggest and most prestigious clubs in the country, Liverpool could do a lot worse.

It is important to remember that Rangers are no minnows; the Gers are still one of the biggest sides in Europe with fearsome expectations despite their various struggles in the last decade.

Ending the nine-year dominance of Celtic, who had firmly established themselves as the sole powerhouses of Scottish football, represents an unbelievable achievement that was surely far more difficult than it would be to rescue Liverpool’s fortunes with the resources available to the Reds.

Gerrard’s budget at Rangers is a far cry from the deep pockets of Fenway Sports Group, who have backed Klopp to the hills since making the switch from Borussia Dortmund in 2015.

His proven ability to overcome adversity also serves as a significant selling point.

He successfully worked through a tricky period last season in which he came close to the sack, recovering well to write his name into the history books a little over 12 months later.

Gerrard has, like every manager, made mistakes during his time in Glasgow but has successfully used them to change his outlook for the better, a key trait that any boss with Premier League ambitions needs to show in order to be successful.

It seems inevitable that he will take over the reins at Anfield at some point during his career, with the Reds legend and Klopp both on contracts that will see them through until the summer of 2024.

However, Liverpool could benefit from calling on the former playmaker during the summer, with his appointment sure to bring a wave of renewed optimism if the club decides to make the brave step into a new era.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp debunks Fulham theory after dire Premier League defeat

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has hit back at Fulham midfielder Harrison Reed after he claimed his team wanted victory more at Anfield on Sunday. Fulham beat Liverpool 1-0 on Merseyside to make it six home Premier League defeats in a row for Klopp’s side.
Mario Lemina’s fine strike late in the first half was the only goal of the game as the Reds once again failed to score at their home ground.

Liverpool are now four points off the top four, with many of the teams above them having at least one game in hand.

Afterwards, Reed told Sky Sports that Fulham wanted to win more than Liverpool.

Reed reflected: “We did want it more and that was evident on the pitch and a big factor in getting three points today.”

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“We never had momentum in the season. You can see it’s still in the boys. They still have it all but at the moment can’t show it.

“It would be a masterpiece to find out how we change that overnight.”

The German admitted the current spell is one of his lowest moments as a manager.

Klopp told BBC Sport: “I would wish to say no but yes it is. That’s not a problem. I don’t always have to have the best times.

“This team is an extreme team. We were extremely successful and now we have an extreme situation as well but we will fight through.”

Meanwhile, Fulham boss Scott Parker says he expected his side would get something from Anfield.

“The first half, we were what I wanted us to look like,” Parker told Sky Sports.

“I had full belief we could come here and get something.

“In the first half we had chances. The boys stuck to the plan and we were well worthy of the first goal.

“In the second half you don’t plan dynamics to go like that. We showed another side to us – character, resilience, doggedness. I’m very proud of the team today.”

Jurgen Klopp makes confident Mohamed Salah transfer vow as Liverpool top-four hopes fade

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is confident Mohamed Salah will not leave in the summer transfer window – even if they miss out on Champions League football. The Reds have been shocking this calendar year as their Premier League title defence fell apart.
The Liverpool boss made the assertion in light of their fifth home defeat in a row – a feat has never happened before in the history of the club.

Salah was hauled off after an hour against Chelsea despite the Reds desperately needing a goal.

And the Egypt international was less than pleased with Klopp’s decision, having a tantrum as his agent cryptically tweeted elsewhere.

Speculation has been mounting over the past few months that the former Roma star has his sights set on leaving the club.

Following Thursday night’s incident, those rumours have only increased but Klopp has insisted Liverpool’s top goalscorer is going nowhere.

With Liverpool sitting seventh in the Premier League, missing out on the Champions League is now a very realistic scenario.

But Klopp insisted his players have a deep loyalty to the club.

He said: “That is nothing we have to worry about. It was always like this. I know we have loyalty from the players.

“It is not a situation where a player in the squad says we are not in the Champions League so I have to leave. That will not happen. I know them well enough to know that.”

Salah has not spoken since coming off against Chelsea but Klopp addressed the situation, insisting he was keeping the 28-year-old fresh for future games.

The German said: “I just brought on fresh legs. Mo [Salah] looked like today he suffered a bit, he played a lot of games.

“I could have taken off Sadio or Bobby, that is all clear but at that moment it looked like Mo.

“Milner we bought on to wake them up a bit and keep them in the game because we needed one situation.”

“In that moment he looked like he felt the intensity tonight and I didn’t want to risk it. It is all fine, I make decisions that I think are right in the moment.”

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp issues Mohamed Salah statement after cryptic tweet from agent

Mohamed Salah’s agent sparked a frenzy among Liverpool fans on Thursday night after posting a cryptic tweet around the time his client was substituted against Chelsea, but Jurgen Klopp doesn’t think it’s necessary for a “proper talk” just yet. Liverpool were struggling to find a way to break down Chelsea’s defence having gone down 1-0 in the opening 45 minutes.
They looked more sharp in the second half, but Klopp’s side were still unable to trouble Edouard Mendy on too many occasions.

Klopp took the surprise decision to hook Salah off on the hour mark for Diogo Jota, with the Egypt international visibly frustrated at being taken off.

He continually shook his head in disbelief as he made his way to the bench and Salah’s agent then took to social media with a very cryptic tweet which sparked further anger among supporters.

Klopp played down the severity of the substitution immediately after the game and he still believes it’s being blown out of proportion.

When asked how he plans to ensure there is no ‘lasting problem’, Klopp said: “Talking, that’s how it always is.

“I’m not even sure if this situation is now a reason for a ‘proper talk’ about it.

“We are 1-0 down and that makes no player happy when you go off [because] you cannot react how you react in different ways.

“On top of that, you’re a striker, you think you should stay on the pitch. It’s all completely clear and not an issue, just normal life.”

Despite Liverpool’s recent troubles, Salah remains the top scorer in the Premier League with 17 goals.

Liverpool as a whole had been scoring for fun up until the end of December and were the league’s top scoring team.

But the goals have dried up since then with Liverpool going on a torrid run of form since the 7-0 demolition of Crystal Palace.

They’ve won just three of the 13 league games since that win and have lost five consecutive home matches.

Salah has only found the net on four occasions in that time, but Klopp insists everyone in the team needs to step up and rise to the challenge.

“We all have to improve, definitely,” he added.

“We only lose games when you have more potential than the results show then it’s all about performance.

“Mo has still a great goalscoring record but everybody knows and even he knows- himself that even he could have scored more goals but Mo’s scoring record is not our problem.”

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has six undroppables but should sell 10 stars in busy summer

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has six undroppables but should sell 10 stars in busy summer

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has six undroppables but should sell 10 stars in busy summer (Image: GETTY)

Liverpool’s summer plans could be heavily impacted as the Reds prepare for the possibility of being without Champions League football at Anfield. Their best chance of being in it next season may be to win a seventh European Cup this term but if they fail to do so, to be without the lure and financial benefit Europe’s premier competition could severely restrict Liverpool from freshening up and improving their squad as much as they’d like before the 2021-22 season.
Liverpool have been decimated by injuries this season, which have played a significant part in the sorry defence of their Premier League crown and the fact they could genuinely finish as low as eighth, ninth or even 10th.

And so Jurgen Klopp will be delighted to welcome back the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip next term, but performances in midfield and up top have indicated work needs to be done with his squad even after the returns of injured players.

The German has had to deal with several underperforming players this term, some of whom he will hope can rediscover their best form in a full-strength team next term while others could be axed or see their role within the squad change.

Express Sport looks at the shape of the Liverpool squad heading into the summer transfer window, where Klopp may be targeting additions in the final third and in midfield in particular, and considers the players who boast undroppable status at the club and those who could be loaned out and sold.

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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has six undroppables but should sell 10 stars in busy summer

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has six undroppables but should sell 10 stars in busy summer (Image: GETTY)

The undroppables

Alisson remains one of the very best goalkeepers in world football despite some high-profile mistakes last month and won’t be dropped as No 1 any time soon, while Van Dijk is arguably the best centre-back on the planet – his return to full fitness will be most certainly welcome.

At left-back, Andy Robertson has been an ever-present in the Premier League this term while others succumb to injury around him and remains integral.

Once their central defenders are back fit, the returns of Fabinho and Jordan Henderson to midfield will be crucial to offering Liverpool better shape and structure as well as intensity in and out of possession – whenever available, they will start.

And although Liverpool have struggled as a team, Mohamed Salah still stands on 17 goals from 27 league games as he chases a third Premier League Golden Boot – and 24 across all competitions.

His continually outrageous output means he has to start every game, provided he doesn’t leave in the absence of Champions League football.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has six undroppables but should sell 10 stars in busy summer

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has six undroppables but should sell 10 stars in busy summer (Image: GETTY)

The regulars 

Van Dijk is the only centre-back with nailed-on starting status with Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Ozan Kabak – if he is signed permanently from Schalke or if another defender is signed to take his place – the other main options. All three should get regular enough game time across competitions, especially if injuries strike again.

While Robertson is undroppable, Trent Alexander-Arnold at right-back has had a really disappointing 2019-20 season until now and cannot be considered the same. More performances like his current showings and though he’s by far the best in his position at the club, Neco Williams or James Milner could get a few games there.

Still, Alexander-Arnold should start most matches while Thiago Alcantara will hope that playing alongside Fabinho and Henderson in the middle can hope him to discover form, having been one of many to struggle in 2021.

Naby Keita’s role as a regular is entirely fitness permitting and 2021-22 may be his last chance to prove he can be an asset at Liverpool. If he continues to break down too regularly, he could be moved on.

Curtis Jones has meanwhile been one of Liverpool’s brightest performers this term and the local-born attack-minded midfielder will only grow in stature in the years to come.

With Salah still posting impressive numbers, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino have been well below-par this term and as a result, cannot be considered undroppable. That’s because Diogo Jota is capable of displacing either of the duo as a starter and will hope to get back to the goalscoring form he was pre-injury. 

If he plays in the same vein next year and avoids fitness setbacks, Mane and Firmino need to up their game to avoid being benched.

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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has six undroppables but should sell 10 stars in busy summer

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has six undroppables but should sell 10 stars in busy summer (Image: TIERMAKER)

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has six undroppables but should sell 10 stars in busy summer

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has six undroppables but should sell 10 stars in busy summer (Image: GETTY)

The rotationals

With Alisson unquestionably the starting goalkeeper whenever fit, Caoimhin Kelleher has emerged as the second-choice and the young Irishman has fared well whenever called upon. He should retain that role next season and can expect to be the cup keeper.

In central defence, similarly Nat Phillips has been a solid understudy and should have his contract extended to keep him at the club as the fifth choice central defender.

Ben Davies is the sixth choice and though he has yet to play a single minute, given he was only signed in January, will probably have a season of warming the bench before a decision is made in regards to his long-term future.

At left-back and right-back Kostas Tsimikas and Neco Williams will fill in here and there, with the Greek hoping to stay fit to provide a sterner challenge to Robertson.

In midfield, veteran James Milner still has a role to play despite recently turning 35 and should see out the final year of his contract before leaving on a free.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is entering a critical point of his career but to be fair to the England international, has rarely started this season. He needs more starting minutes before his worth can truly be judged – and he chipped in with a decent amount of goals across all competitions in the title-winning 2019-20 campaign.

Given Firmino’s dire form, Takumi Minamino could emerge as a valuable option through the middle if he can improve his effectiveness off of the ball while on loan at Southampton. He should return from the Saints ready to have an impact.

Liverpool: Klopp on Reds’ 1-0 defeat to Chelsea

The loanees

Kamil Grabara is currently out on loan in Denmark, arguably a step back after playing in the Championship last season, but at 22 the Pole is still finding his feet as a senior so should be given another year away from Anfield before reassessing his long-term pathway.

Sepp van den Berg will hopefully enjoy a full season out on loan at Preston having joined the Lilywhites in January after Liverpool signed Davies.

Klopp has shown he rates Rhys Williams but the 19-year-old desperately needs a season of regular game time in the English Football League, perhaps in League One or League Two.

Harvey Elliott has starred in the Championship with Blackburn and has a big future ahead of him but if Liverpool recruit another elite-level attacker in the summer, the minutes for the 17-year-old on Merseyside will only be sparing.

He would benefit more from another year at Ewood Park, or perhaps a season at a team in the bottom half of the Premier League.

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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has six undroppables but should sell 10 stars in busy summer

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has six undroppables but should sell 10 stars in busy summer (Image: GETTY)

The departures

Liverpool’s current campaign has shown they have several members of the squad no longer contributing to the level needed and a lack of Champions League football would mean a greater volume of sales to free up cash for Klopp.

Adrian is at the end of his contract and should be allowed to leave with Kelleher in front of him, while Loris Karius needs a fresh start even though he would be a solid enough rival to Kelleher behind Alisson.

In midfield, Marko Grujic appears unlikely to ever make it at Liverpool despite his obvious promise. The Serbian has struggled for starts at Porto but the Reds might be able to sell him for up to £15m.

Gini Wijnaldum is the highest-profile departure but clearly Liverpool are not willing to pay him the wages he wants and without a top-four finish, that’s unlikely to change. He’s likely to depart on a free – but the club have to make sure they replace him suitably. Brighton’s Yves Bissouma has been mentioned as potential successor.

Ben Woodburn, Sheyi Ojo and Harry Wilson are all attackers with great quality in their own right but none of the trio are the level needed at Liverpool and perhaps £20-25m can be accrued by their sales.

Xherdan Shaqiri is a few levels above those three but is somewhat of a luxury player given he lacks the pace and mobility to be a starting wide-man for Liverpool. Instead he’s been best used as an attacking midfielder but the Swiss is worthy of more minutes elsewhere, and a parting of ways seems sensible for £15m or so.

Taiwo Awoniyi has fared relatively well in the Bundesliga and the Nigerian is still just 23, and now qualifies for a work permit, but will surely be sold to Germany permanently.

Divock Origi should also be axed by Liverpool, having barely made an impact this term. The Belgian made a big impact in 2018-19 but since, his contributions have waned dramatically and Klopp needs a more effective fifth-choice attacker. Origi is still good enough to command a £15m fee.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is playing dangerous game after Mohamed Salah sub

Now that was baffling. The Premier League’s top goalscorer withdrawn from the fray with Liverpool desperately in need of a goal. Several shakes of the head from Mohamed Salah confirmed Jurgen Klopp is playing a dangerous game.
The Liverpool boss is among the masters of man-management but this immediately felt like he was pressing the wrong button.

Irritating Salah, who has been one of few credible performers this season, is not the way to go when the club’s top-four hopes are in serious doubt.

His agent Ramy Abbas Issa was also evidently furious, as he tweeted a cryptic full stop to make his feelings known.

Klopp allegedly screamed at Salah to track a runner and he didn’t oblige. Klopp then turned to Lijnders and planned the change. It was a rush of blood.

This game was there for the taking for Liverpool but they failed to ask any questions of Edouard Mendy, one of the most unconvincing goalkeepers in the division.

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Sadio Mane’s touch was awful. He squandered a golden opportunity to level things up after Salah’s raking cross field ball split the Chelsea defence apart.

Instead he missed the ball and is clearly sapped of all confidence. As he emerged for the second half, Klopp put an arm of encouragement around him.

It was clear Mane was left on the field in an attempt to play his way out of rough form. Roberto Firmino was also non-existent.

This was by no means Salah’s best performance of the season but he certainly always looked capable of making something happen.

He was bright and alert to loose balls, creating gaps whenever he was in possession.

Liverpool virtually surrendered defeat once he left the field in a quite frankly baffling double substitution.

Curtis Jones, who was full of action once again, was also withdrawn as the returning Diogo Jota and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain entered the fray.

The introduction of both was more than justified but Liverpool lost their verve once Salah and Jones departed.

Even when Salah is having an off day, he is capable of scoring out of nothing. No player in world football represents a bigger goal threat from the wide areas.

With Jota returning, Salah may feel like he could be the one to make way in the starting XI. In fact, he should be the first name on the team sheet.

We can expect Salah to be in the team from the off against Fulham on Sunday but tonight was an opportunity they could not afford to waste.

Chelsea are now four points clear of Liverpool, who have lost five consecutive home games. If there was one game to lose between now and the end of the season, this wasn’t it. This was win at all costs after Manchester United, Leicester and West Ham’s recent results.

That means keeping Salah on the field, regardless of his performance. Mane and Firmino can count themselves lucky.

Would Salah want to stick around if Liverpool are playing Europa League football next season? It’s certainly not a given.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp issues top-four race verdict with double Chelsea injury boost

Jurgen Klopp has vowed to keep ensuring Liverpool are simply focused on their own results, in the race for the top-four. It’s been a big weekend for the Reds, who have closed the gap on West Ham with Leicester, Manchester United and Chelsea also dropping points.
Now Liverpool are hoping to put their wretched form behind them as they look to kick on in the final stages of the season.

The Premier League champions earned a comfortable 2-0 victory at Bramall Lane courtesy of a strike from Curtis Jones and an own goal.

Klopp is insistent he will remain focused on Liverpool’s results, as opposed to what other sides are doing.

“It was very important [to win] because you can imagine plenty of people have written us off, that’s completely fine,” he told Sky Sports.

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Liverpool now turn attentions to Thursday’s Premier League showdown with Chelsea at Anfield.

Thomas Tuchel’s side have tightened things up defensively since he replaced Frank Lampard and pose a serious threat in the top-four race.

Klopp has revealed he could be set to welcome back both Diogo Jota and Fabinho on Merseyside.

He added: “Probably [both] will be with us [vs Chelsea]. Diogo was with us overnight in the hotel but he got sick.

“He was in the squad today but he got sick, I think he is ready for Thursday but I don’t know at the moment.

“Fabinho trained twice with the team, he should be close or ready with the squad, I’m sure.”

Jota has been back in full training this week but missed tonight’s clash through illness.

Fabinho is expected to return at centre-back despite a valiant effort from Nat Phillips and Ozan Kabak tonight in Yorkshire.

Jurgen Klopp still has worrying Liverpool issue to solve but is handed boost elsewhere

The upside, though, was the performance of Trent Alexander-Arnold, who was by far and away the best player on the pitch.

Not only did he deliver the assist for Jones’ strike with an athletic, battling cross, but he appeared to the the x-factor the 22-year-old has been missing in recent weeks.

In the first half, Alexander-Arnold enjoyed 72 touches, at least 22 more than any other player on the pitch.

His energy was back, his football brain was working overtime, and there were even comparisons with Steven Gerrard floating about on Twitter.

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But Klopp is up for the challenge and believes his squad are capable of putting their dreadful form behind them.

“We are still Liverpool, and that is what I love what I know, and that of course gives me energy, so I am not here only for the big celebrations, no I am here for the work,” Klopp added.

“And if it is the dirty work, the hard work, no problem.

“We will try everything this season, but however, there are so many things we can learn from it.

“So what we go through now, we have to sort problems now, immediately, and in the long term we can get the benefit of what we are going through in the moment, that is clear.”

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