In his media duties on Friday, Jurgen Klopp explained “rules” for Liverpool players going to the World Cup, provided a positive injury update, and discussed whether any change of ownership could affect the club’s transfer plans.
Here are five key things from Klopp’s pre-Southampton press conference…
“I heard Gary Neville said something…”
Klopp said he was delighted for Trent Alexander-Arnold after the Liverpool right-back was named in England’s squad for the World Cup on Thursday.
Last weekend, Neville suggested Southgate would not be able to trust Trent in knockout matches at the World Cup because of his defending. Might be worth reminding him how many knockout matches and trophies Trent has won in recent years!
“With Hendo it was clear, with Trent it’s nice. He was very pleased about the news,” Klopp said of Trent’s selection.
“I heard Gary Neville said something. But he’s now 24 and won quite a few finals, important games where you have to defend against world class players.
“He was always there, defending well. I don’t know why we have this discussion.”
Strong team for City cup clash?
The Reds were drawn away to Man City in last night’s Carabao Cup fourth round draw, a match that will take place the week commencing December 19.
Klopp has suggested he will be able to field a stronger XI than the one which beat Derby on penalties on Wednesday.
“The players that will be involved have a pre-season,” Klopp explained.
“We have to see who’s available. If the game against Derby would have been the only game in three weeks, we’d have played a different team.”
“Rules” for players at World Cup
The boss was asked about the difficulties of communicating with players who may pick up injuries during the World Cup, but didn’t seem overly concerned.
He went on to explain how the decision to hold the Reds’ mid-season training camp in Dubai was partly because it’s not too far away from Qatar.
“We have clear rules with international games. The boys have to text me if there are any issues,” he said.
“We need the players to tell us and that’s the contact we’ll have definitely. We’re in Dubai around the corner.”
Positive injury update
Liverpool’s injury problems seem to be easing off just as we’re approaching the World Cup, of course.
James Milner and Joel Matip could both be in contention to return to the squad to face Southampton, while Naby Keita and Luis Diaz are running again and making good progress in their recovery from long-term injuries.
“James Milner is back in training today,” the German revealed.
“Joel trained. He did most of the session but not the last bit. He would now be available but only trained once with the team.”
“Very positive” about possible FSG investment
The final question of the press conference related to whether Fenway Sports Group’s plans for new investment could affect the club’s transfer plans.
Klopp didn’t seem to think that could be a problem, and certainly didn’t rule out the possibility of new signings in January.
“I’m very positive about the whole thing” Klopp added.
“Either way it will be fine. I have a really close relationship with the owners. I always knew what we can do, what we can’t do…
“Now we have to see what we do. Nothing is decided with what we do in the winter. We have time until then. We follow the market all the time, every day. No player scores a goal in the world without us knowing.”