Klopp regrets Luke Littler & Liverpool kids’ comparison – “Would like to eat my words”

After two eighteen-year-old’s guided Liverpool to victory on Wednesday, Jurgen Klopp compared them to dart sensation Luke Littler, something he now wishes he didn’t do.

With Jayden Danns and Lewis Koumas both on the scoresheet as Liverpool progressed to another FA Cup quarter-final, the headlines were bound to shine a spotlight on the Reds’ impressive youth players.

Klopp added to the post-match conversation by referencing Littler, who reached the World Darts Championship final at the age of 16, by saying Wednesday was a “little bit like the new darts sensation.”

That in itself created headlines that extended beyond just that match in isolation, and Klopp wishes he could take his words back as he seeks to protect his young players.

“I don’t feel [I have to protect them], I know it,” he told reporters. “You are all not ready to do it, so somebody has to ask for it.

“I would like to eat my words that I mentioned that night [Wednesday], I gave, again, an assist, to some people to understand the wrong way. It’s my fault.

“Of course, nobody is Luke Littler. It’s just in general. What could disturb a career for a very young prospect is, one part of, what the public make of it.

“It’s wonderful, they deserve it. You cannot live on the planet if you don’t see how special the story was, but now the next challenge is how to deal with all the things coming up.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, February 28, 2024: Liverpool's Lewis Koumas celebrates after scoring the first goal on his debut during the FA Cup 5th Round match between Liverpool FC and Southampton FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“These boys are fantastic in that department, really down to earth, grounded. I don’t think it was necessary to mention that night but I did, so my fault.”

The manager has always been one to ensure feet remain firmly on the ground, while dishing up the deserved praise at the appropriate time, but protecting the young players has always been paramount.

The hype, of course, will be building, and Klopp clearly feels his words added unnecessary commentary to a situation that would have hit headlines without his input.

It’s another nod to how self aware Klopp is and that he is not shy in admitting when he was wrong.