Jurgen Klopp has dismissed claims he needs several summer signings to freshen up his Liverpool squad – despite admitting they could miss out on a top-four finish.
A run of two Premier League wins since Christmas has led some critics to suggest the squad needs refreshing. It’s claimed their ageing squad, together with their heavy workload over the last three years, means their best is behind them.
Indeed, 12 of his current squad are 28 or over. Nine of these are considered core players. Only Fabinho, Andy Robertson, Diogo Jota, Joe Gomez, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Curtis Jones their only senior players under that age.
And only two – Thiago Alcantara and Jota – of Liverpool’s last six major transfers could be classed as likely first-team starters.
But when asked if he needs a wholesale squad rebuild, Klopp offered a calm response.
“Rebuild? No. What is ‘rebuild’ exactly? Rebuild means 10 out, 10 in? Changes to which XI?” he said.
“I know what you mean but I don’t think it is time for a massive rebuild like how I understand it: six, seven out, running contracts but trying to get rid of them and bring in all the new faces.
“The squad of this year didn’t have the chance to play together one time really. I think it would make sense to have a look at that but on top of that, of course little readjustments will happen.
“Reacting on the situation but planning at the same time for the future and all these kinds of things.
“I am not sure we can do that in the summer but that is what we will try.”
Klopp on top-four hopes
Jamie Redknapp has explained why Liverpool’s top-four prospects look bleak this season.
Indeed, a return of nine points from a possible 33 since thrashing Crystal Palace 7-0 on December 19 has seen the defending champions fall from first to sixth.
And when asked to assess the achievement of qualifying for the Champions League in the face of an injury list which shows no signs of easing – after captain Jordan Henderson was ruled out for at least a month after a groin operation – Klopp said: “Big. Yes it would. Absolutely.
“You can see the competitors. Look, it is not about the possible performance.
“The game we played against Leicester (when they conceded three in the last 12 minutes) we lost, but the performance on the day was one with which the team usually wins.
“It is all about results. The table doesn’t lie. Never. That is completely fine. We know that performance-wise we are not that far away, but results-wise we are.
“That is what we have to change and for all the different reasons that it was a difficult season so far for us.
“We try with all we have to sort it and while you try and sort one problem another problem occurs. That is in a season when it is not going perfect, obviously.”