Jurgen Klopp gave an injury update and discussed the possibility of Liverpool going back into the transfer market as he addressed the media before the Premier League opener at Fulham.
Here are seven key points from the boss ahead of the trip to Craven Cottage:
Fitness update on 7 players
Klopp has confirmed Alisson will be “fine” for the Reds’ Premier League opener, having missed a large chunk of pre-season, including the Community Shield win vs. Man City.
There were also updates on six other players, with Liverpool set to be without at least eight players against Fulham. Calvin Ramsay, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Kaide Gordon are also still unavailable.
“The window is still open, we will see…”
Earlier this summer, Klopp insisted Liverpool were unlikely to make any further signings, after wrapping up the additions of Fabio Carvalho, Darwin Nunez and Calvin Ramsay.
While that still remains the case, Klopp says there’s an outside chance that the Reds’ current injury situation could lead to a rethink.
“We cannot sort a problem we have for four weeks with a transfer for a full year. That makes, in the moment at least, no sense for us,” he said on Friday.
“But the transfer window is still open, so we will see. But the plans are don’t go in that direction.”
Phillips going nowhere for now
Ibrahima Konate‘s injury has had an impact on the players that could be on their way out of Anfield this summer.
Both Nat Phillips and Sepp van den Berg still remain at the club, but were expected to move on before the end of the window.
However, with Konate set to miss the early weeks of the season, Klopp has confirmed Phillips, at least, will be staying put for the time being.
Asked whether Phillips will now need to be retained as centre-back cover, Klopp said:
“Yeah, probably. It will influence outgoing transfers I would say.”
“Angry” about the World Cup
Klopp was also quizzed on the impact the winter World Cup could have on Liverpool’s season and, as expected, it wasn’t a topic that filled him with great joy to speak about!
When it was put to him that the season could consist of two “sprints,” either side of the World Cup, the Liverpool boss disagreed and went on to claim the tournament “is happening at the wrong time for the wrong reasons.”
“If you go to the World Cup final, third place too…you are already quite busy,” Klopp said.
“I was not angry when I came in but when I talk about it I get angry. My problem is everyone knows (the calendar) is not right but no-one talks enough about it. Something has to change.
“This World Cup happens at the wrong moment for the wrong reasons.
“It’s like the climate, we all know we have to change but we don’t do anything about it.”
“Darwin is ready”
Arguably the biggest selection dilemma Klopp is facing for the Reds’ league opener is whether to select Roberto Firmino or Darwin Nunez in attack.
Firmino started the Community Shield, but Nunez stole the show with his match-winning cameo in the second half.
The boss was asked whether he’d have any qualms throwing the Uruguayan in from the start on Saturday, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
“Darwin is ready but that doesn’t mean he has to start,” Klopp said.
“He needs time to get used to a lot of things but he’s already a real help.
“It was a proper pre-season training session for him. He said he was nervous early on. Normal. He’s settled quickly. Feels at home.”
Carvalho “will be very important for us”
If he features on Saturday, Fabio Carvalho will go up against the team the Reds signed him from earlier this summer.
The Portugal under-21 international has impressed in his first pre-season with the club and Klopp is in no doubt he will go on to be an important player for his team.
“He is a top player, a massive talent. He’ll be very important for us,” Klopp told reporters.
“We count on this age group as well. He’s ready like Harvey is ready.
“That’s really cool. We all need luck in life with injuries but without that he’ll be a top player for us.”
Jota “not even close” to full potential
After signing a new long-term deal with the club this week, Diogo Jota is a player we can expect lots more from in the coming years, according to Klopp.
The former Wolves striker is currently unavailable due to a hamstring injury, with reports earlier this week stating he could return to training within a fortnight.
The boss clearly feels he can take his game to new levels when he is eventually back in action.
“Top, top, top,” Klopp said when asked about Jota’s contract extension.
“Real commitment to the club, he’s not even close to his [top level].
“Really good news for the club. Good news for him too.
“It’s good having him around, he’s a character early in his life. He knows what to do to be successful.”