Premier League • England

Klopp questions if Liverpool star on ‘best run’ amid key injury fear; plans fresh Luis Diaz talks

Jurgen Klopp during the Carabao Cup semi-final between Arsenal and Liverpool

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has lauded Thiago Alcantara for his recent form and vowed to keep the midfielder fit following recent injury troubles.

Thiago arrived at Anfield in September 2020 from Bayern Munich in an exciting acquisition for Klopp. Not only had he picked up two Champions League winners’ medals at Bayern, he also starred for Barcelona before that.

The Spain international enjoyed a fine start to his Liverpool career with an impressive display against Chelsea. However, he then suffered a knee injury in October 2020. That kept him out until December.

From there, Thiago enjoyed a strong end to the season to help Liverpool qualify for this campaign’s Champions League. Nevertheless, he revealed in August that he was playing through pain from a previous injury.

Thiago has spent more time on the sidelines this term with calf and hip problems. But he has played three Premier League games in a row and can make his 50th Liverpool appearance on Wednesday.

Asked about Thiago in a press conference ahead of the clash with Leeds United at Anfield, Klopp said he is “not sure” if this is the 30-year-old’s “best run” in his team, pointing towards his “pretty consistent” run at the end of last season.

The manager added: “I think, we all agree, Thiago agrees, that there were some moments when he was struggling injury-wise. That is how it is and coming back, even with his quality, you cannot just get rhythm all the time immediately.

“That is very helpful if you can avoid injury for a long period of time. So it is not important if he played the last 30 or the first 60, 45 or whatever, we just try to find the right intensity for him.

Klopp lauds Thiago progress

“So obviously, even when we work together longer, it has not been for ages, it’s not that we know absolutely everything and that is why we just try, without keeping him outside when he can play.

“We just try to do the right things and that has worked out now in the last few games.

“He is a very, very good player. There is no doubt about that. His skillset is insane but it’s all about staying fit and that is what we’re working on together.”

Thiago, who has played five games in a row, has no doubt helped Liverpool go on an eight-match winning run.

However, new signing Luis Diaz has also contributed to that run. The Colombia international winger has played four of the past five games and netted his first Reds goal in Saturday’s 3-1 win over Norwich.

Klopp plans Luis Diaz, Liverpool talks

Liverpool winger Luis Diaz during his debut against Leicester

Diaz starred against the Canaries in a brand new Liverpool front three alongside Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.

Klopp insisted that he only gave Diaz a “few pieces of information” about the Reds’ style of play, instead letting him using his natural attacking talent.

However, Klopp noted that Liverpool’s style of defending is “definitely different” to Diaz’s former club Porto.

As a result, the manager said: “There will be moments when we talk longer, in more detail.

“But that is not now because we want him like he is and not directly converting him into what we think he can be in the future.”

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Diaz and Diogo Jota, who are both 25, represent the more long-term future of Klopp’s attack at Liverpool.

Mane, Salah and Roberto Firmino will not only all be 30 by this summer, their contracts are set to expire in 2023.