LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, October 1, 2020: Liverpool's Diogo Jota during the Football League Cup 4th Round match between Liverpool FC and Arsenal FC at Anfield. Arsenal won 5-4 on penalties after a goal-less draw. (Pic by Propaganda)

Klopp reiterates he wanted 5 subs “for the players” – but would have signed Diogo Jota anyway

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has pointed out the isolated case of the Premier League in sticking rigidly to having only three subs again this season.

The boss has been outspoken on the matter already this season, having wanted the five subs allowed rule to continue for the 2020/21 campaign.

It was originally brought in for the post-lockdown period of last year, but most other major competitions have rolled it over into the current campaign due to the demands on players in a condensed calendar.

The boss was asked whether, with those extra requirements placed on the front line, new signing Diogo Jota was “bought to take the pressure off the squad”, but Klopp confirmed Liverpool would have moved for him regardless.

And he pointed to all other European clubs and international competitions being allowed to protect their players to a better extent than the Premier League sides have been allowed to do.

“England is the only country where we only have five subs. All the other countries are doing five subs. Even the Nations League is five subs and all the international coaches are really happy about that,” he said.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 12, 2020: Liverpool’s Naby Keita shakes hands with manager Jürgen Klopp as he is substituted during the opening FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Leeds United FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. Liverpool won 4-3. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“I’m the one who wants to have five subs…[but] I want it for the players.

“If you’re one of the top six you have to say ‘sorry’ for wanting it but all other countries are doing it.”

Klopp was also asked about Sadio Mane‘s rise to one of the greatest forwards in the game, and whether he genuinely thought the Senegalese attacker had the capacity to reach this level when he signed him from Southampton.

The boss assured reporters that he saw the potential in our No. 10 to do so, but explained how it’s an awfully long way from having the capacity to reach a certain level, and actually achieving it.

“I saw his potential and I hoped that he can reach that level, 100 per cent. His combination of speed, physicality and technique is pretty rare,” he said.

“From talent to a settled and proven world-class player is a big step because you have to do it week in, week out and that’s what he’s able to do.

“For sure he’s in the top, top, top offensive winger/strikers in the world.”