Jurgen Klopp discussed a variety of topics in one of his best press conferences in a long time as the Liverpool manager previewed Saturday’s visit of Chelsea.
After back-to-back wins over Norwich and Burnley, the Reds are in for a bigger challenge as the European champions arrive at Anfield this weekend.
Chelsea have started the campaign in fine form, with victories over Crystal Palace and Arsenal in the Premier League as well as clinching the UEFA Super Cup at the expense of Villarreal, but Klopp is still confident.
Speaking at Kirkby on Friday afternoon, the German was at his engaging best as he spoke on a number of subjects beyond the usual bland questioning.
Here are five key points from Klopp’s pre-Chelsea press conference.
A busy end to the transfer window? Not likely!
Klopp was, predictably, asked whether there was any scope for further signings in the transfer window, to which he said “not really, to be 100 percent honest.”
However, he still offered a glimmer of hope as he admitted: “But you never know.”
There is no chance of Liverpool pulling off a deal similar to Man City‘s proposed signing of Cristiano Ronaldo, however, with Klopp focused on the future.
“It’s how some clubs are obviously working and that’s absolutely fine,” he said.
“But there must be different ways, there must be a team a year later and three years later, and all this kind of stuff.”
No “battle” between Robbo and Tsimikas
Asked about the left-back situation following the return of Andy Robertson to starting contention, Klopp suggested the Scot would reclaim his place against Chelsea.
That it comes following a strong run of form for stand-in Kostas Tsimikas makes it a bittersweet scenario.
But the manager has insisted there is no “battle” between the pair, with his intention always being that Liverpool would have “two really good left-backs” in place.
“There is no gap” in midfield
As the transfer deadline looms, there remain question marks over Liverpool’s business and particularly in midfield – where they have technically still not replaced Gini Wijnaldum.
But Klopp insists “there is no gap” in his ranks in the middle of the park, pointing to the likes of Harvey Elliott, Curtis Jones, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as options.
“If Gini is still here, Harvey would probably not have played this game,” he said of the 2-0 win over Burnley, though he added that Elliott is not suddenly the Reds’ “saviour.”
Big praise for Tuchel
There have been many parallels drawn between Klopp and his opposite number on Saturday, Thomas Tuchel, not least because they both followed the same path through Mainz and Dortmund.
The Liverpool manager was full of praise for his compatriot, saying “what Thomas did at Chelsea is absolutely exceptional.”
He did add, though, that: “That it would go that quick, I don’t think even he would have expected that exactly.”
Red-listed players will not travel
Finally, Klopp confirmed that Mohamed Salah, Alisson, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino will not be permitted to join their national teams, so long as there is no exemption in quarantine rules when they return.
“I think I can confirm that,” he said, “because there’s no chance really for it.”
It was interesting to hear Klopp point out one of the key reasons beyond players missing games during their 10-day isolation upon their return to the UK, that being the loss of fitness and muscle it would inflict.