Jurgen Klopp’s first press conference back sees boss speak on Timo Werner & injuries

Jurgen Klopp held his first press conference in over three months on Friday, discussing Timo Werner and Mohamed Salah‘s fitness in a Zoom call with journalists.

The manager’s preview for the Merseyside derby was much different to normal, with social distancing measures leaving the media to pose questions from their homes.

Klopp was present via video link, and there were the usual mix of questions from the bland and unnecessary to the more on-point and compelling.

Unsurprisingly, a day after Werner’s move to Chelsea was confirmed, Klopp was questioned on how the deal reportedly fell apart for Liverpool, with the club said to have pulled out due to the financial implications of coronavirus.

“That’s really funny,” he responded to an early question on the striker.

“We don’t speak about transfers that we would potentially do, and now I’m going to speak about a transfer of Chelsea? Funny. Why should I do that?

“Absolutely nothing to say about it. Timo Werner is a really good football player, and plays, how I’ve heard now, for Chelsea next season. That’s it.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, October 22, 2019: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah during a training session at Melwood Training Ground ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group E match between KRC Genk and Liverpool FC. (Pic by Paul Greenwood/Propaganda)

The topic turned to players Klopp can call upon, with question marks over the fitness of both Andy Robertson and Mo Salah leading up to the derby, but the manager reiterated that “none of them are ruled out for Sunday.”

“They all look good,” he continued. “We had, of course, during the training period, some little problems. That’s completely normal.

“But none of them are ruled out for Sunday, I can say.”

That was interpreted by some journalists as deemed Salah fit for the trip to Goodison Park, but the more sensible take would be that he is not ruled out yet, with two more days to go.

It seems unlikely that Salah will start, having not trained normally over the past week, though Klopp explained that the current situation has made it “no different” when it comes to injury concerns.

This came after a glut of injuries in Man City‘s 3-0 win over Arsenal on Wednesday night, with both Granit Xhaka and Pablo Mari forced off the field early on, along with a head injury for City’s Eric Garcia.

“I’m always concerned about injuries, that’s the thing you want to avoid,” Klopp said.

“You want to have all players fit and available, you want the choice, you want to make difficult decisions.

“But we tried to make sure the boys are as fit as possible.

“If I would have thought there is no chance this weekend, after four weeks [of training], that we would play the season I would have said it.

Arsenal had an injury nightmare as first Granit Xhaka (pictured) and then Pablo Mari were forced off (Dave Thompson/NMC Pool/PA)

“It doesn’t mean nothing can happen. For example, the injuries from Arsenal and Garcia from City had nothing to do with the short pre-season or anything else.

“These are things that can happen always. It’s a contact sport. We don’t want to have this, but it can happen.

“So yes, I’m concerned, but not in the manner that I think we should not play, not at all.

“We had nine or 10 weeks, we had the boys training, they were not sitting on a chair for nine weeks then we train again for four weeks.

“They were really active. They had to be active, it’s a young squad. So I think we all, not only us, we all will be fine.”