Premier League • England

Klopp lays out Liverpool transfer plans with midfield absences biting; challenges Reds star after Thiago injury update

Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool press conference July 2022

Jurgen Klopp doubled down on his transfer plans for the remainder of the window, and laid down the gauntlet to Harvey Elliott amid a Thiago injury update.

The Reds were without Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Curtis Jones through injury for their 2-2 draw with Fulham last weekend. Naby Keita also missed the contest through illness, while Thiago Alcantara pulled up with a hamstring issue mid-way through the match.

Unsurprisingly, that led to rampant speculation Liverpool could remedy their early-season woes through the transfer market.

Sporting Lisbon’s Matheus Nunes drew strong links, though the Times laid those rumours to rest.

Inter Milan pair Marcelo Brozovic and Nicolo Barrella continue to be mooted with Anfield moves this summer. However, Klopp’s public stance on further transfers this window has been the Reds’ business is already concluded.

Now, speaking in his Friday press conference, Klopp doubled down on the narrative that Liverpool won’t make panic buys just because their ranks will be depleted for a few weeks.

Furthermore, the German stressed that if Liverpool were going to add a new face, they’d have “done it already”.

“If there would be the right player, we would have done it, we would do it, but we have had a lot of conversations already and it doesn’t look like it will happen,” said Klopp (via the Liverpool Echo and Sky Sports).

“I’m happy with the strength, size, and quality of my squad – but we have injuries.

“There are different solutions for it – one of them is the transfer market, but it only makes sense if you can bring in the right player.

“If there is the right solution for us, we would have done it already.  We are not stubborn, it’s just about the right thing to do.”

Thiago injury update

The speculation surrounding midfield arrivals was heightened once Thiago pulled up at Craven Cottage.

Initial reports claimed the classy Spaniard could miss between four-six weeks of action.

In what may be a hint of good news for Reds fans, Klopp joked he’d much prefer the lower end of that spectrum.

“Thiago is good, but the injury is not,” he continued. “I read four to six weeks. I would prefer four!”

Klopp challenges Harvey Elliott

With no new signings on the horizon, Klopp will have to muddle through with those already at his disposal.

The Times were among several outlets to report Thiago’s absence could spark greater opportunities for Harvey Elliott.

The 19-year-old recently penned a new long-term extension at Anfield on Thursday. With Thiago missing, the creative responsibilities in midfield could now rest with Elliott.

Regarding the promising youngster, Klopp said: “He is always in my plans. He came on and made a real big impact (v Fulham).”

Klopp then challenged Elliott to step up with a fantastic opportunity seemingly on the way.

He continued: “Harvey played a good pre-season and was really decisive in the games where he came on v City and Fulham. Does he have to step up? Yeah, but like all the others.

“When you start (the season) with eight or nine midfielders then they all have the same chance. Sooner or later they can fulfil their potential and that’s what we’re looking for. Fabio and Millie looked sharp. Hendo played good at six when we moved him.”