2M13X9T Al Daayen, Qatar. 09th Dec, 2022. AL DAAYEN - Cody Gakpo of Holland during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 quarterfinal match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Lusail Stadium on December 9, 2022 in Al Daayen, Qatar. ANP MAURICE VAN STEEN netherlands out - belgium out Credit: ANP/Alamy Live News

Jurgen Klopp confirms Cody Gakpo in squad vs. Wolves – but “no rotation”

Jurgen Klopp has revealed Liverpool will line up “as strong as we can” for Saturday’s FA Cup clash with Wolves, with Cody Gakpo in line for his debut.

Typically, Klopp would approach domestic cup games with a rotational approach, and last season’s run to the trophy saw the likes of Takumi Minamino and Kostas Tsimikas star.

But with five days to recover from the loss at Brentford and the next game at Brighton not for another week, the manager has insisted “there will not be a rotation.”

“If you play Wednesday-Saturday-Tuesday or whatever, then you have to think about it,” he explained on Friday.

“In our case, we played Monday and now Saturday and then I think again Saturday, so no, it was always clear we will line up as good and strong and as experienced as we can.

“But we actually always did – just it looked sometimes a bit different, but always the best possible lineup for the specific game.

“Monday-Saturday, there will not be a rotation because of the competition or whatever.”

Netherlands' Cody Gakpo gestures. Credit: Tom Weller/dpa/Alamy Live News Credit: dpa picture alliance/Alamy Live News

There are certain to be changes, of course, not least due to an injury to Virgil van Dijk, while there will be a temptation to use £44 million signing Gakpo from the start.

It remains to be seen whether Klopp will turn to his new No. 18 or stick with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on the left, but he has confirmed he will at least be in the squad.

“I’m not sure if any player who got signed in this window played already, probably not,” he explained.

“We were pretty early, so this is the first possible moment where a player could play.

“For us, it’s the first possible moment and it’s absolutely perfect.

“Usually business starts later on in January and decisions are made later, but in this specific case we were pretty early and that’s why I’m completely fine with the situation.”

Cody Gakpo of Holland, Virgil van Dijk of Holland celebrate the 1-0 during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 group A match between the Netherlands and Qatar at Al Bayt Stadium on November 29, 2022 in Al Khor, Qatar. ANP MAURICE VAN STONE Credit: ANP/Alamy Live News

Gakpo’s availability comes at a time when options are short in the final third, with Klopp admitting that Roberto Firmino is still not fit as he joins Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota as absentees.

There was a suggestion that Gakpo could make a similar impact to that which Diaz enjoyed this time last year, and while he stopped short of comparing the two, his excitement was palpable.

“Cody is in for two days, two training days now, full training days. It’s a joy to watch, to be honest,” Klopp enthused.

“Of course, with our situation, injuries with the strikers as well, it’s really nice to have a guy on the pitch who obviously is pretty natural in a lot of things.

“[He gets] the offensive part of the game and knows where the goal stands. That’s always very helpful.

“He’s obviously full of joy, enjoying each second in the moment. So that’s very good.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, October 25, 2022: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group A matchday 5 game between AFC Ajax and Liverpool FC. (Pic by Jessica Hornby/Propaganda

Though Firmino is still sidelined, and both James Milner and Naby Keita are also expected to miss out along with Van Dijk, Diaz, Jota and Arthur, Klopp can call upon his captain again.

Jordan Henderson missed the trip to Brentford as Liverpool followed concussion protocol after a blow to the head in the 2-1 win over Leicester, but began training again on Thursday.

“Hendo, he did exactly what he was allowed to do yesterday – big parts of team training without heading,” Klopp said.

“From today on, I think he is completely allowed to do everything.”