Klopp outlines strategy for new defenders making ‘big steps’ at Anfield

Date published: Saturday 13th February 2021 9:50 - Neil Foster

Jurgen Klopp Liverpool

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has praised new defenders Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies and hinted at how he will use the pair in the coming months.

The Reds’ defensive injury crisis saw Klopp finally relent and recruit in January. It seemed as though he might try and see out the campaign with what he had at his disposal.

But Davies, 25, arrived from Preston North End on transfer deadline day. And Kabak moved to Anfield from Schalke on the same day.

The duo were brought in to cover for long-term injury victims Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez. They have yet to kick a ball for the club but Klopp seems happy with the way they have adapted.

“Both Ben and Ozan are calm people, willing to learn, great attitude,” he told the club’s official website. “They really throw themselves in everything that is ahead of them, what a defender should do. Making big steps, adapting to the way we play, that’s important.”

Liverpool’s title defence appears over, having slipped 10 points behind table-topping Manchester City. Pep Guardiola’s men also have a game in hand heading into the weekend’s fixtures.

There is still the Champions League to contest, with the Merseysiders set to face RB Leipzig over two legs. The first match is scheduled for February 16 in Budapest while they will do it all again at Anfield on March 10.

Klopp the man with a plan

The German coach admitted this week that he was surprised by how many games his side has lost this term. They have already been beaten five times in the league while crashing out of both domestic cup competitions.

It is all a far cry from 2019-2020, when they seemed invincible at times. There is no question that injuries have stalled their progress and both the boss and players have had to adapt.

Ozan Kabak Turkey

Fabinho and Jordan Henderson have been filling in at centre-back. And it seems as though at least one will continue, with Klopp unlikely to pair his new men together.

He added: “We have still a clear way to defend, which is important, because if both of them would be on the pitch then there are still nine players who are used to what we did before, so if the two players would do something differently that would lead to a strange situation.

“Yeah, it’s all good so far. Now we have to make decisions. We have to change again because of Fab, and now we will see which solution we will take.”

 

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