Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says the club aren’t seeking to make any moves in the winter window and believes his current squad deserve the chance to prove themselves.
The Reds are still on the trophy hunt in four competitions this season, with the club through to the last 32 of the Europa League and the semi-finals of the Capital One Cup. While a Premier League title challenge might be a step too far – despite our Red Letter column talking them up last week – the club are also about to embark on their FA Cup quest, having been handed a third-round trip to League Two Exeter.
With such a heavy schedule, it could be expected that the German boss might look for some reinforcements to help offset fatigue in the squad. However, the former Dortmund manager insists he is happy to work with his current squad.
“It’s much more important to work with people and if you trust them they have to feel it – and not just for two days but for a longer time,” Klopp told the Daily Telegraph.
“That’s not how the world should run. If we have problems it’s not with quality, it’s maybe with concentration or other things. But we don’t know if players we get will do it better. I’d give the advice to stay cool and see what happens.
“If we need something we will do it, not talk about it before. In this moment I don’t think about it. No one should be in doubt that we are prepared for any situation. We have 24 hours always at work.
“We always watch players on video but if we take them in winter, in summer or never I don’t know at this moment.”
While Daniel Sturridge’s latest injury has left Liverpool a man down at striker, Klopp played up who will be returning from knocks to help bolster the squad.
“Jon Flanagan will come back in next week, then we will have two left-backs and two right-backs. I don’t feel we have to look at other people just because they cost £20million,” said Klopp.
“We have four centre-backs when Mama [Sakho] is back – Kolo is the fourth because of his age but now he’s always available.
“In midfield we have Hendo [Jordan Henderson] back so that’s like a new option for us. We have other offensive players and we have more strikers than others, so where is the space? In January we have don’t know how many games we have, maybe every three days, so we have to be prepared.
“We know all the players in world football. Some fit us, some don’t. The challenge for us over the next month and years is to rotate but not to lose quality. You need 20-22 high quality players who are ready for it.”
Another reinforcement, though unexpected to Klopp, is youngster Brad Smith, who’s only just begun training after a lengthy contract fight.
“You know it was a difficult story with him and when I first came he wasn’t here,” said Klopp. “I said ‘who’s this?’ I saw a few videos and in training and he’s a good boy. He is very fast and has perfect cross. He can get better in everything but he’s a good boy and I like to work with him.”
Is Klopp right – or would you like to see the club strengthen in January, and in what positions?