Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp revealed his side will find a solution to Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane’s AFCON absences in January before speaking about the Elland Road atmosphere ahead of their clash with Leeds.
Salah and Mane are due to miss a portion of Liverpool’s season at the beginning of 2022. Both Egypt and Senegal have qualified for the 2021 AFCON which is due to take place between January 9 – February 6 in 2022. The tournament has twice been delayed due to Covid-19.
After selling Xherdan Shaqiri, Liverpool are a man light in their depth options up front.
Harvey Elliott could cover one flank, though the rising youngster has mainly been deployed as a midfielder by Klopp thus far.
With Divock Origi so out of form and favour it could leave Klopp’s side short-handed come the turn of the year.
But the German said the solution could not always be found in the transfer market. Liverpool again made profit in a transfer window when the combined sales of a plethora of squad players outweighed the £36m forked out to sign Ibrahima Konate.
Klopp has now hinted Liverpool won’t spend their way out of the looming issue, though is at least fully aware of the gravity of the situation.
“We knew it (Salah and Mane’s absences). We have to deal with it and we will deal with it. How? We will see in January,” said the manager (via the PA).
“People now say we have to sign two strikers with the same quality of Sadio and Mo.
“That cannot be a solution as we cannot do that, so we have to find a solution for that in January.”
Klopp gets inside track on Elland Road atmosphere
Liverpool’s unbeaten start to the season will be tested on Sunday afternoon when travelling to West Yorkshire to take on Leeds.
At Elland Road they are unbeaten in their last half-dozen trips in all competitions. But home advantage could play a significant part as the ground hosts one of the ‘Big Six’ in front of a full crowd for the first time since their return to the Premier League.
“Everyone tells me the atmosphere must be really outstanding so I’m really looking forward to it,” added Klopp.
“I heard about it but cannot say a lot. We have to probably ask (former Leeds midfielder James Milner) Millie exactly how it is.
“Millie knows it from both perspectives; not sure, maybe not. Not sure if he played there with another Premier League team. Who knows? But he can tell us how it is and he will tell us. We are Liverpool and that means everybody expects us to win each game.”