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‘Promising’ Elliott – 5 key things from Klopp’s pre-Arsenal press conference

Jurgen Klopp had plenty to discuss ahead of Arsenal‘s visit on Thursday, including Mo Salah‘s contract, squad availability and having had to forgo home advantage in the second leg.

Here are five things from the manager as he previewed the game at Kirkby on Wednesday:

 

Elliott edging closer

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, August 8, 2021: Liverpool's Harvey Elliott during the pre-match warm-up before a pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and Athletic Club de Bilbao at Anfield. The game ended in a 1-1 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It’s been over four months since Harvey Elliott last played a competitive match but he’s making fast progress on return from his nasty ankle injury.

Harvey Elliott looks really promising out on the pitch, did not train with the team yet but I do not think we are too far away from team training,” Klopp said.

“What he is doing at the moment looks really good.”

It’ll be good to have him back when the time comes!

 

Who is available for Thursday?

There was mixed news from the boss regarding his options for the midweek game, but his options will be significantly boosted from what was available prior to Shrewsbury’s visit.

Namely, Alisson and Trent Alexander-Arnold returned to training while Andy Robertson will be just fine after his late knock on Sunday – but you can count Divock Origi and Thiago out.

“Trent and Ali trained yesterday, Div and Thiago [did] not. That’s it pretty much…Robbo got a little knock in Shrewsbury game but looks fine,” Klopp confirmed.

The boss also noted that “the rest is available,” meaning a host of his senior players who were deemed unavailable for the FA Cup tie will be back in contention.

 

“Very positive” on Salah’s new contract

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 2, 2022: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah during the FA Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Stamford Bridge. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The No. 11’s contract situation has yet to be resolved but both Salah and Klopp have spoken positively about their desire to extend the relationship with a new contract.

It’s taking some time, but Klopp remains “very positive” over the whole situation.

“We know, I know, Mo wants to stay, we want Mo to stay. That’s the point where we are,” he told reporters.

“These things take time, I cannot change that, sorry. But I think it’s all in a good place, nothing else to say.

“He’s a world-class player, unbelievable player, great boy, did a lot of great stuff for Liverpool and of course, we want to keep him. Now let’s see if it will work out, that’s all.”

Sign him up!

 

An ‘exceptional‘ talent

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 9, 2022: Liverpool's Kaide Gordon during the FA Cup 3rd Round match between Liverpool FC and Shrewsbury Town FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 4-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Kaide Gordon became the second youngest goalscorer in Liverpool history over the weekend and the boss had nice words to say about the 17-year-old but remained coy on when further opportunities will face.

“Kaide is an exceptional talent. He had a little drop in form which is normal at this age.

“He played with the under-23s mostly and had good games and less good games, but he is here and as long as he is fit, he is in our mind.

“The Shrewsbury game obviously helped a lot. We’ll see [about when he gets another chance].”

 

Home advantage makes a difference

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 9, 2022: Liverpool supporters on the Spion Kop before the FA Cup 3rd Round match between Liverpool FC and Shrewsbury Town FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 4-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool had been given the advantage of playing the second leg at Anfield in the original draw, but the postponement last week ensured the legs were flipped.

While it is something that was out of the Reds’ hands, Klopp did concede it makes a difference and is another nod to how wide of the mark those who claim Liverpool ‘cheated’ are.

“Of course, it makes a difference,” Klopp said of now playing home first. “If you win both games it makes no difference, obviously. But especially with the power Anfield can produce it’s a difference.

“We cannot change that. We couldn’t play last Thursday and that’s how it is and that’s why we have to take it like it is, no problem but, yes it’s a difference.”

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