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Thiago, transfers & injuries – 6 key things from Jurgen Klopp’s press conference

Jurgen Klopp gave an update on Thiago‘s fitness and provided a double boost on the injury front, as he previewed Liverpool’s home clash with Crystal Palace.

Here are six key things from Klopp’s sitdown with the media…

 

Thiago update

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 6, 2022: Liverpool's Thiago Alcântara (L) is consoled by team-mate Roberto Firmino (C) after sustaining a hamstring injury during the FA Premier League match between Fulham FC and Liverpool FC at Craven Cottage. The game ended in a 2-2 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The main focus throughout the past week has been the loss of Thiago to a hamstring injury suffered in the 2-2 draw at Fulham on Saturday.

Following two scans, the Spaniard is reported to have been sidelined for up to six weeks, though a shaky fitness record suggests that Liverpool should be cautious when it comes to his recovery.

Surprisingly, it wasn’t until the final question of the press conference that Klopp was asked about his No. 6, though the manager was far from definitive.

Thiago is good, but the injury is not good,” he said.

“The timeframe? I read four to six weeks! I would prefer four, we’ll see…”

 

No midfield signing?

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, July 30, 2022: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp before the FA Community Shield friendly match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City FC at the King Power Stadium. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

With Thiago joining Curtis Jones and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on the treatment table, calls for another midfielder to be brought in before the end of the transfer window on September 1 have intensified.

But Klopp appears to have ruled out another addition, explaining: “If there was the right solution, we would have done it already.”

“It only makes sense if you can bring in the right player. Not [any] player,” he said.

“All the other solutions are inside the squad.”

The manager later added: “It doesn’t look like something will happen.”

 

Double injury boost

LEIPZIG, GERMANY - Thursday, July 21, 2022: Liverpool's Naby Keita during a pre-season friendly match between RB Leipzig and Liverpool FC at the Red Bull Arena. Liverpool won 5-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It wasn’t all doom and gloom, of course, with Klopp confirming that both Naby Keita and Kostas Tsimikas should be back involved for the visit of Palace.

“Naby will be back for Monday,” he said.

“Kostas will train today for the first time as well so might be back.”

Keita has been sidelined through illness in recent weeks but could come straight back in to fill the void left by Thiago, while Tsimikas’ availability boost the Reds’ squad options.

 

Elliott’s chance

SINGAPORE - Friday, July 15, 2022: Liverpool's Harvey Elliott during the Standard Chartered Singapore Trophy pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and Crystal Palace FC at the Singapore National Stadium. Liverpool won 2-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

One of the most likely candidates to start in midfield on Monday night, however, is Harvey Elliott, who impressed off the bench last weekend and signed a new five-year contract on Thursday.

“He always is,” Klopp said when asked if Elliott was an option to start.

“A fantastic boy, super player, came on and had a real impact [against Fulham]. Of course [he is in contention].”

He later explained: “Harvey played already at an incredible level, got injured, that’s it pretty much.

“Does he have to step up? Yeah, but like all the others as well.”

 

Those ‘attitude’ comments

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 6, 2022: Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk looks dejected as Fulham score their second goal from a penalty kick during the FA Premier League match between Fulham FC and Liverpool FC at Craven Cottage. The game ended in a 2-2 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Following the stalemate at Craven Cottage, Klopp made the rare decision to question the attitude of his players, with his side “nowhere near good enough.”

Asked to clarify his comments six days later, the manager initially blamed his grasp of English before insisting that he would not “make a big fuss of it.”

“My English, I’m not sure it’s the right thing,” he said.

“I didn’t like the start at all. I saw then the attitude to fight back, but that’s a different thing. It took too long in this game.

“We really didn’t play a good game – and still could have scored more goals!

“If I make now a big fuss of it, imagine that, that would be strange as well.

“We try to make sure that we are ready for this game. We were ready more often than not.”

 

Klopp’s favourite Premier League moment

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, July 22, 2020: Liverpool’s manager Jürgen Klopp (L) and assistant manager Peter Krawietz celebrate on the podium during the trophy presentation as the Reds are crowned Champions after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea 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. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

This weekend will mark the 30th anniversary of the first game in the Premier League, and in a more lighthearted section of his press conference, Klopp was asked to pick out his favourite moment.

“Favourite? That’s easy, we didn’t even play!” he replied.

“It was the penalty for Chelsea, when Willian scored the penalty for Chelsea against City.

“We became champions in that moment.”

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