Liverpool Fc update
Jurgen Klopp talks about his Liverpool side
With Champions League football on Liverpool’s agenda after coming in fourth in the Premier League last season, in addition to the already busy English top tier league and cup fixture list, Jurgen Klopp said his starting squad first-choice preferences will be decided from competition in training and performance in actual matches. German boss Klopp told his array of Liverpool attackers to fight for their place this season. Liverpool have signed Mohamed Salah from Italian Serie A club Roma to join forces with Roberto Firmino, a fit-again Sadio Mane, Philippe Coutinho, and Daniel Sturridge to give Klopp a number of options to head up Liverpool's attack. "If the squad stays like this, I would say you should perform if you want to play. I cannot decide this. It's the performance that decides it," said Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp.
The German manager made a jibe at Lineker in response to the former Tottenham, Barcelona and England striker's criticism of how he handled the selection of Liverpool's squad that resulted in their FA Cup flameout against the Wolves in January. Jurgen responded saying that he has options to rotate his offensive players in the upcoming campaign. "Hopefully we have the opportunity to do things like this. It's always like this but only if you have the opportunity to change so hopefully we have it,” added Klopp. "We want to play in three or four competitions as long as even Gary Lineker is happy or whoever. We want to play football for as long as possible and for this we need players. That's the situation."
Regarding summer transfers at Anfield, Klopp was unsure over plans. The team's only additions so far this summer have come with the arrivals of Dominic Solanke from Chelsea and Mohamed Salah. "What can I say? Will the squad change until the 31st August? Probably, maybe," Klopp continued. "We are not 100 percent sure. Maybe nobody wants the players we have. On the other side maybe somebody wants to loan them or buy them. It's pretty likely. The plan is in the end we have a squad that is big enough to cope with the intensity of all the tournaments. The first thing we have to do now, not just all the transfers, is to prepare for the Premier League and the Champions League qualifier. That's my main target. Everything else is prepared. We know all about the players. The more important thing now is to get the players here now fit for the first games. That decides a lot and I really want to use a nice base."
Reportedly, Liverpool midfielder Kevin Stewart left Jurgen’s side in Hong Kong as he prepares for a move to Hull City. Stewart will travel to Hull to discuss personal terms and undergo a medical at the Championship side in a deal that could be worth up to £8 million. Although Stewart signed a long-term contract in November, he was widely expected to depart Liverpool and Anfield this summer, having made just three first-team appearances since signing his new deal. Klopp recently warned his senior Liverpool stars not to feel too comfortable in their starting roles this season because he intends to build his squad to sustain a rotation policy and compete to win. Klopp expects the competition for places at Anfield to be at its strongest since he joined the club as manager, especially if he is able to add some more new faces before the end of the summer transfer window in August. In the season ahead, Jurgen’s plan is to make more regular changes than he was unable to do in his first two campaigns with Liverpool without compromising the existing style or quality of performances.
Klopp made a dig at Gary Lineker who criticized him for playing a weaker side in last year’s FA Cup. “Even Gary Lineker’ will be pleased with Liverpool’s new approach,” said Klopp. Klopp says the quality of his squad has improved, but the situation could change. “Will the squad change until the 31st August? Probably, maybe,” remarked Klopp. “We are not 100 per cent sure. Maybe nobody wants the players we have. On the other side maybe somebody wants to loan them or buy them. It’s pretty likely. The plan is in the end we have a squad that is big enough to cope with the intensity of all the tournaments. The first thing we have to do now, not just all the transfers, is to prepare for the Premier League and the Champions League qualifier. That’s my main target. Everything else is prepared. We know all about the players. The more important thing now is to get the players here now fit for the first games. That decides a lot and I really want to use a nice base.”
Since arriving at Anfield in 2015, Klopp’s preferred lineup has been consistent, give or take one or two decisions. Klopp was highly criticized for making more changes when Liverpool went out of the FA Cup to Wolverhampton Wanderers last season, using several Under-23 players. Lineker tweeted that top managers were disrespecting the FA Cup by selecting second-string sides. Klopp has not forgotten those jibes. The defeat against the Wolves was largely due to injuries and the lack of availability of Sadio Mane who was competing in the African Nations Cup limiting Klopp’s options. He felt he had to prioritize Champions League qualification. “We want to play in three or four competitions as long as even Gary Lineker is happy or whoever,” said Klopp. “We want to play football for as long as possible and for this we need players. That’s the situation.”
Liverpool’s next addition is likely to be Andrew Robertson from Hull City, who is close to a £8 million deal. And Red Bull co-owner Dietrich Mateschitz has confirmed RB Leipzig recently rejected a €75 million bid for Liverpool target Naby Keita. Twenty-two-year-old Keita has been linked with a move to Liverpool for several weeks, but a source close to Leipzig reported that they had warned England Premier League side, Liverpool, that the Guinea international is not for sale at any price. Meanwhile, Jurgen Klopp says Daniel Sturridge is in the best shape of his Liverpool career so far. Klopp says Daniel Sturridge is in the best physical shape since he took over as Liverpool manager. Last season, Sturridge, 27, endured another injury-plagued campaign, making just seven starts during the Premier League. Sturridge was a key player though in helping Liverpool secure a top-four Premier League finish by scoring the opening goal in a 4-0 win at West Ham United in May. "It's the best condition since I'm here," Klopp said of the striker Sturridge. "OK, I came in October 2015 and Daniel, I think, was probably injured. Last preseason was after a tournament and a short break. This year he has had a proper break and is in a good physical shape absolutely."
Klopp who was interviewed by the media at the Grand Hyatt hotel in Hong Kong said that there was nothing new to add on any potential further incomings to the club, he did stress the importance of ensuring that no key players leave Anfield this summer. "It's a good thing to talk about in the transfer window because the world thinks improving is only about bringing in new players," Klopp continued. "Nobody thinks that the players we already have will make the next step, which is also a nice idea. We use the transfer window, of course, because it gives us an opportunity, but the main thing I think about is how we can make the next step with the players we had last season. The good news is we didn't lose, and we will not lose, a player we want to keep this summer. That's the best news actually and then we'll see who we can bring into the squad. I expect a lot of progress from the players based on their experiences from the last years."
Meanwhile, Senegal international Sadio Mane will join Liverpool's preseason trip to Germany after being cleared to resume full training. Mane underwent surgery in April having damaged the meniscus in his left knee and was excluded from the squad that traveled to Hong Kong. Liverpool are scheduled to face Hertha Berlin in a friendly on July 29 before participating in the Audi Cup, which also includes Bayern Munich, and Klopp plans to have twenty-five-year-old Mane available to travel to Germany to compete in the Cup. "Sadio is on the way back,'' Klopp told the club's official website. "The plan is he will come with us to Germany. The plan is he trains completely normally with us when we are back in England. We have been waiting long enough for him now. He is around Melwood all of the time and is in pretty good shape. Unfortunately, he was not ready to train, but he looked good, the injury looks good and so now he should be fine when we get back.''
Liverpool have returned from their pre-season tour to Hong Kong and will play Crystal Palace in a friendly on Wednesday. Then on July 29th, Liverpool travels to battle Hertha Berlin at Olympiastadion. On their opening EPL match, Liverpool travel to Watford’s Vicarage Road on August 12th. And for their first England Premier League home match on August 12, Liverpool hosts Crystal Palace at Anfield Road. Liverpool host mighty Arsenal on August 27, then travels to play against titan EPL club Manchester City at Etihad Stadium on September 9th! Buy Liverpool football tickets to support The Reds as they begin their fight on the way to glory and silverware this season. The very best 150% guaranteed, legal, Liverpool tickets are available now for sale securely online for all upcoming 2017-18 matches including the England Premier League and Champions League from the world’s top football tickets marketplace – LiveFootballTickets.com!
July 29 Friendly Hertha BSC Berlin v Liverpool
August 12 English Premier League Watford v Liverpool
August 19 English Premier League Liverpool v Crystal Palace
August 27 English Premier League Liverpool v Arsenal
September 9 English Premier League Manchester City v Liverpool