Jurgen Klopp hints at changing Liverpool’s approach to loans and youth development

on 21.01.2016

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says it was important to bring some of his talented young players back from their loan spells and hinted at changes in the future, wanting players to develop as a team.

Many of the Reds’ young hopefuls produced good performances in Wednesday’s 3-0 win over Exeter City, as Klopp’s side cruised into the FA Cup fourth round.

Sheyi Ojo, who was called back from his loan spell at Wolves earlier this month, became the club’s youngest ever goalscorer in the FA Cup, while fellow recalled duo Tiago Ilori and Kevin Stewart also impressed.

Klopp says he wanted to bring the youngsters back to Anfield in order to work alongside them and improve their overall quality.

“We will work with them,” he said, during his post-Exeter press conference.

“That doesn’t mean we can bring them in and play them every week in the Premier League, but we need to have our best players at the club.

“A month ago when I said we need to have all of our best players here at Liverpool FC, [Ryan] Kent was on loan, [Sheyi] Ojo was on loan, [Kevin] Stewart was on loan, Tiago [Ilori] was on loan.

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“We need to keep them here and work with them, because football is not about individual development.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, January 20, 2016: Liverpool's Sheyi Ojo celebrates scoring the second goal against Exeter City during the FA Cup 3rd Round Replay match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“Yes, you have to develop individually but you have to develop as a team. You have to learn your position and it’s not always to impress one on one, you have to show that you can work together as a team, that you know about your job.

“Overlapping… do things like this. Know when my team mate does this, I have to do this. That’s how football works.

Klopp’s closing comments in particular hint at the manager wanting to change the club’s approach to the loan system and player development.

“Keep them here, work together, and I’m sure the way is shorter for them – but that’s for future not now.”

Earlier this week we spoke to under-21 coach Michael Beale, who explained the reasons the club currently uses the loan system the way it does.

“We know what we can and cannot provide a young player. We cannot guarantee games inside a stadium with passionate support or mixing day to day within a mens dressing room – our average age is 19 years old in the under 21 squad, explained Beale.

“However, if the manager is keen on working with the players and having them around the first team then we would always take this option first. This has been the case this season with Rossiter, Randall, Smith, Fulton and Brannagan. In all cases, this decision is made on an individual basis.”

You can read Beale’s interview in full, here.

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  1. Spoken like a true nurturer and world-class developer of footballing talent. Few can match him in this department.

    • None can my friend. This man has done the impossible. Mario gotze,hummels,schmelzer, kuba,bender,piscek,grosskreutz and to some extent lewa were all developed at the club as youngsters. They are now all international pros

      • Lewa’s got a lot to thank to Klopp, he was playing as a number 10 in his first season in Borussia, and Klopp dveloped him into a world class striker..

        • Don’t be fooled mate, he was a striker before he played for Klopp, interestingly after the match a program of Lowandosky came on, talking about his development from he was kid, he played for about 4 clubs before he joined Klopp, and it was the last club his major development started, where he was scoring goals for fun as a striker, that’s when Klopp saw him, and went to his mom to convince her to let him play for him, for 6 months he was used as a sub by Klopp, and scored in almost all the games, even a 4 timer in 1 match, because of the players ahead of him, he wasn’t getting the game time he was promised by Klopp, so he contemplated leaving, so I don’t know about Klopp developed him.

          • you talking non sense boss. he scored 8 goals in his first season at Dortmund and was a nothing and no one before he joined Dortmund.

          • I didn’t say he was a world class before playing for Klopp, I said he scored a lot of goals for his previous clubs, before joining Klopp, his career rosed to higher level with Klopp because B/D was a bigger club, my point is Klopp didn’t taught him how to score goals, he knew how to before joining Klopp, just like Vardy did before joining C/R at Les, so Klopp didn’t developed him, just highlighted his talent.

  2. I love what he is trying to do with the youth and that’s how it should be if your’re going to invest in academies. However, many of them will simply have to be moved on, otherwise we will end up with a glut of youngsters hanging around & nowhere for the next batch to move up to. I feel if Sinclair had been loaned out to a team down a division or two and got used of being kicked around by thirty year olds who are desperate to make a living then he just might be much more appreciative of being at a club the stature of Liverpool.

    • Sinclair went to Wigan last year, wasn’t talked about a lot because from what I gathered he did didly squat there.

      • I may be wrong but I get the impression he is not as good as he thinks he is, if he goes to Watford he can learn from Ighalo, Deeny and co but it’s not quite the same as having Fowler and Rush around.

        • He may be technically brilliant, but like so many academy strikers if you don’t score goals you’re not a very good striker.

        • then issue w/ Sinclair is the same one that plagues many of the youth players and england in the recent future. they r given wayyyy too much way to early. feel like they’ve made it, and for many of them it goes to their heads and ruins their work ethic and desire. a classic example is Sterling. the boy thought he’d already made it. likely won’t develop much anymore. and is currently plying his trade on the bench at City.
          wash, rinse, repeat

    • I think what Klopp meant was keep the best in the club, loan out those that they think might still have a chance. No point swelling the academy with players but again, Barca and Madrid did exactly that. Swelling up the academy and then start hand picking them…. those darn hoarders!

  3. And the one and only renowned young talent developer Mr brenden Rodgers shipped everything out in site .CLUELESS.

    Show him Jurgen.

    • In fairness, there’s a prevailing attitude amongst Premier League sides that in order for a player to develop, he needs to be kicked about by a burly centre-half in the more physical lower leagues. Considering the sporadic fixture list of the U21 league, there is some logic to the point of view that more match practice is beneficial. However, I very much hope that our youngsters can develop with each other to gain greater familiarity with a system of play. Klopp is the man to nurture our talent having seen first hand the rewards of the overhaul in Germany’s national youth coaching system after Euro 2000. As we know, many of Germany’s brightest talents in their current national team began playing in the same side through the various youth tournaments.

  4. Really good plan and looking forward fo its implementation. This how barca operates. Though loan move is important and player who are really talented but can’t break in first team, should only be loaned to top tier teams who actually need them to play regularly rather than their 4-5th choice backups.

    • Players who are really talented but can’t break in first team

      I think that’s contradictory to what Klopp said. He’d rather keep his talented player at the club.

      • When talent players can’t break because of too many talented players around and real good performing senior.

        Sergi Roberto at barca for example.

          • Yeah you are right. He is currently not on the level of rakatic or AI to start all the games but us surely country better than Milner and lot better than Can ATM is.

            He is one of the most versatile player in barca squad. He is been played as CM, AM, Winger, fullback and has always performed great. Not able to get games is obviously hindering his progress. So in such situations players should be loaned to a really good top tier club.

            I think I picked up a wrong example. Samper of Barca B is as good as allen if not better than allen. It’s only hindering his progress. He is already 22. He is like 3rd-4th choice deep lying midfielder/ DM/CM. The reason they are not loaning him and many players like him ius to be prepared for several injuries (something like we had with our CB) and when it comes to playing with 3/4th choice players they don’t face massive dip in quality ( like not getting into trouble of playing Enrique as CB and give him armband)

            Yeah what you are saying is good and even I prioritise it but there will always be 1 or 2 players who could not play regular games and can be massive money saver for us if loaned.

    • We also need preferable style of play and preferable formation, so when a player from u18 team comes to u21, knows exactly what to do.. Same from u21 to senior team.. Barca also has good policy when selling young players who cannot break into the first team, they insist on buy back clause..

  5. I’ve seen quite a bit now of Kristoffer Peterson at FC Utrecht now. He came to LFC in 2011 as a youthplayer and left the club in 2014 for FC Utrecht. He’s currently on loan at Roda because his chances are very limited in Utrecht.

    From what I’ve seen from quite some academy players around that era he’s not a exception. He’s been mostly a moments man. Totally invisible bar two or three moments in a game. Then he shows willingness and a great deal of football skill. For the rest it’s flat, bland and basically non-extistant for a team. It’s like he’s only interested when he gets the ball played to him and he can do something that looks cool. Not interested in his part in the tactical setup of the team.Same goes voor Vincent Weijl who left a few seasons ago.

    I’t something the academy needs to take a look at as he’s not the only one who does this. You’re needed 90 minutes, not 3 or 4 moments in a game where you can do something cool.

  6. What we certainly shouldn’t be doing is treating them the way we have treated Ilori. We took a kid from his homeland and carted him round Europe for two years to any club that would take him and expected him to come back a better a player. It’s not fair to them as people never mind anything else. Either leave them with the selling club or use short term loans 6months max as part of a structured development plan.

  7. So I am perhaps showing my Americanism here by this question, but what’s to stop us from having an Academy team compete in the English league football system like Barca B and Castilla compete in the Spanish football system?
    Why dont’ English clubs use this model??

    • one reason would be that these players would not be able play for the first side. Our reserve team can be called upon to play if needed, where as if they played in a team competing in the league they would be restricted from doing so.

    • Well, there’s 92 professional league clubs here, across 4 divisions. But it’s quite easy (& common) for a club to drop/rise 2 or even 3 divisions in a short time (ask Portsmouthm fans), so the A & B teams could reverse etc etc. There’s also thousands of non-league clubs who have been competing for 120 years to get promoted to the Leagues, so it’s unfair on them if we can just have a ‘B’ team.
      Feeder clubs should be the way forward, imo.

  8. I would like to see some of the young guys play against norwich…
    My preferred lineup


  9. Gomez described Klopp as very ” welcoming”, we have a truly great manager, no need to worry about anything, feeling confident for the future of the club.

  10. Need to buy a 1st or 2nd division team and make them Liverpool B they get to play regularly agains more physical and sometimes older players infront of their own fans what a great experience for these kids

  11. It’s time the English FA set up a proper U21’s league so the clubs don’t loan these young players out,also it has to be good for the National team as well. Too many young players going out on loan and not even getting a game for weeks on end,but if they were playing week in week out then their development would come on quicker. Jurgen is spot on and I think we will see a change this summer who goes out on loan and for how long! Some of these loan deals have been ridiculous and Alex Inglethorpe and BR are to blame. Will Alex be the next in line for the chop as Jurgen brings his new youth team assistants in this summer.

  12. The Illori transfer was strange really, we spent money and time getting him here only to send him out on loan. It was quite odd.

    Right so my two cents! Firstly going out on loan and seeing something different, playing regularly for a team, scoring, assisting, defending etc all very good. Agree that its a good idea, but you might play in a system with 2 strikers or 3 at the back or with wingers or a slow CB and your development would not be best suited to coming back into this high press high intensity Klopp outfight so keep them here play with the first team in training have a run out for the reserves play high press high intensity football get noticed by jurgen get in the first team. Very good! Both ways have their merits and both have their faults.

    If it was me I’d keep my best players in the club, players I know will play in my first team, train with them each day, teach them how to play football how I want it played, use the reserve team to keep them match fit and use them in one cup competition and as backups to the first team regulars ready for when injury hits or form drops off. The players im not sure of Id send out on loan, if they don’t prove me wrong then they can be sold if they show me potential they come into the first team fold next year. This way the club can grow ‘squad players’ in house instead of loaning them in or buying them and focus transfers on team changing talent. The unfortunate players who don’t meet the spec will bring in a bit of transfer money to help this along! It needs to be faster, no 2-3 seasons of loans before they come into the first team, if they aren’t making the grade then transferred.

  13. I totally agree with Klopp’s statements – shipping out all of our kids all over the world, just because Chelsea do it, was madness

    For all of the talk kof player’s improving so much on loan in comparison to while being in the U21, I just haven’t seen any evidence of it. In fact, those players out on loan just miss out on the opportunity to step into the first team in case of injuries. And of course miss out on bonding with their potential future teammates and learning what the manager actually wants from his players/team, in contrast to what some other club expects.

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