Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp used his first press conference of the new season to hit back at calls for him to sign a new midfielder.
The Reds lost Georginio Wijnaldum in the summer following his exit as a free agent. He could yet prove to be a big loss after being an almost ever-present during his time at Anfield. Since his departure, though, Liverpool have faced calls from pundits to seal a new transfer to replace him.
The club reportedly have Lille’s Renato Sanches and Atletico Madrid’s Saul Niguez on their radar.
Earlier this week, Klopp shot down suggestions that he could fund a new signing in his engine room.
Asked by The Athletic‘s James Pearce on Friday about the matter, Klopp took the reporter on, asking him to name the midfielder he thinks Liverpool should sign.
He said (via the Liverpool Echo): “You tell me, if you would sign a midfielder, tell me the name and I will think about it. It will be really interesting.”
Klopp then pointed out that he has played several midfield trios in pre-season. James Milner, Naby Keita and Harvey Elliott have played together, as have Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Fabinho and Curtis Jones.
He also has Thiago Alcantara and Jordan Henderson, who had extended breaks following Euro 2020.
Pearce responded by pointing out the lack of goals from Liverpool’s midfield last season.
“So he should score more goals, yeah? Ok, makes sense,” Klopp said. “I don’t know which midfielder it is then, who scores more goals that position than the boys.
“We never said we don’t have to improve and score more goals. But we have to create situations. It’s not that easy that [a player] is constantly in goalscoring situations.”
Klopp reveals Elliott, Liverpool plan
Earlier in the press conference – hosted ahead of Saturday’s opening Premier League match against Norwich – Klopp confirmed that 18-year-old Elliott features in his first-team plans.
The midfielder spent last season on loan at Blackburn, earning a nomination for the Championship’s Young Player of the Season award.
“That’s the plan. He showed up in an exceptional way,” Klopp added. “He’s not the only one, but of course Harvey’s only 18. The only problem Harvey has, we don’t treat him like an 18-year-old, at least not in training sessions and on the pitch.
“Like all our midfielders, they are all different and he brings a different dimension. Dribbling top, passing range really good.”
Liverpool played Norwich in their season opener in 2019/20, when they went on to lift the Premier League title.