SOUVENIR PROGRAMME

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 20, 2023: Liverpool's Jarell Quansah during the Football League Cup Quarter-Final match between Liverpool FC and West Ham United FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jarell Quansah changed Jurgen Klopp’s summer transfer plans – “It was clear”

Jurgen Klopp has revealed how Jarell Quansah‘s pre-season performances persuaded Liverpool to ditch their plans to sign a centre-half last summer.

Forced into the spotlight by a spate of early-season injuries and Joel Matip‘s subsequent absence through knee ligament damage, the 20-year-old has been a revelation for the Reds this term.

He has made 16 appearances in all competitions thus far, including Wednesday evening’s Carabao Cup semi-final second leg against Fulham.

Quansah’s involvement in that crucial tie is testament to Klopp’s faith in him, but the German has now explained that this is nothing new.

In fact, he was so impressed by the Warrington-born defender over the summer that he changed his transfer plans as a result.

He said: “I liked him from the first moment I saw him, but that’s just what the boy offers from a physical point of view when they’re really young, 16/17/18, that’s how long I’ve known him.

“I knew he was a good footballer, which is absolutely helpful, and it’s not rare nowadays but it’s quite special how calm he is on the ball.

“And then it was all about when was he ready for adult football because, in that position, each challenge is a reality check.

“So you might be the best in your age group but that means nothing for the adult world because you have strong opponents and they know all the dark arts, how to bring yourself in the right position.

“He’s dealing with that and I didn’t expect that this quick, that’s true.

“But the pre-season was super positive. We got asked a lot about signing a centre-half and we were thinking about that as well, it’s not that we ignore potential issues or whatever.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 9, 2023: Liverpool's Jarell Quansah reacts as referee Andrew Madley awards a penalty three minutes after play continued during the FA Premier League match between Crystal Palace FC and Liverpool FC at Selhurst Park. Liverpool won 2-1. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“But when we saw him it was clear that we will not go for it, that we will have our own solution without knowing how much game time he will get this year.

“Because of the situation and because of his development, he is obviously now a proper, proper part of the squad, a proper part of the rotation.

“It’s not about performing, they all are good, it’s about how can you share intensity and he plays an important role.

“[Fulham] again was a really good game. The way we play with the last line, I wouldn’t call it risk but it’s not a normal centre-half game, you have a lot of one-v-one situations, a lot of space in behind you very often.

“You have to be brave and he is really brave in these situations, and with the ball he is brave as well and has a really good overview and good technique, so it’s an interesting package. I’m really excited about it.”