Jurgen Klopp suggests Liverpool have decided against signing new central defender


Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp this weekend all-but confirmed that he does not intend to seek out reinforcements at the heart of his back-four this summer.

PL’s dominant force

The Reds are of course gearing up for the defence of their Premier League title.

In fact, they are currently locked in action with Leeds United at Anfield, in the club’s first competitive outing of 2020/21.

Liverpool, as proved the talk of English football for much of the summer, utterly dominated the English top-flight last time out.

After being pipped to supremacy in heartbreaking fashion by Manchester City the season prior, Klopp’s men swiftly regathered themselves, before running riot en route to a 99-point Premier League haul.

‘A creative solution’

Across other competitions, however, the Merseysiders did not fare quite so well.

The English champions’ attempts to defend their Champions League crown were brought to an end in staggering fashion, following a late last-16 collapse versus Atletico Madrid.

In the FA Cup and League Cup, meanwhile, Liverpool were comfortably dispatched by Chelsea and Aston Villa respectively.

Across these three defeats, meanwhile, two common themes persisted.

First, the Reds’ erratic defensive tendencies, with solid displays too often spoiled by momentary lapses in concentration.

Perhaps even more prevalent, though, was the lack of squad depth at the disposal of Jurgen Klopp.

Whilst Liverpool’s first-choice XI is unquestionably superb, in certain areas of the pitch, there is a complete dearth of options available for selection.

One such area, last season in particular, came at centre-half.

Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez of course formed a solid partnership at the heart of Liverpool’s back-4, a key factor in the club’s first league title in 30 years.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 30: Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool celebrates scoring his teams second goal with team mate Trent Alexander-Arnold during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Brighton & Hove Albion at Anfield on November 30, 2019 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

However, behind these two, in terms of senior players, came just the often-sidelined Joel Matip, and mistake-prone Dejan Lovren.

The latter of this pair has of course since moved on to Zenit St. Petersburg, a decision which most Reds supporters no doubt assumed was, in turn, set to see a new central defensive option introduced to Jurgen Klopp’s squad this summer.

As outlined above, however, if the latest comments on the part of the Liverpool boss himself are anything to go by, then this does not look set to be the case.

Speaking ahead of his side’s season opener versus Leeds, Klopp was drawn on the situation at the heart of his back-four, with the German having been eager to talk up the defensive capabilities of Fabinho, as well as some of the young stoppers at the club:

‘The situation is obvious, we have a lot of centre-backs, pretty much all of them apart from the three we had last year are all pretty young, which is good.’

‘A lot of space for development and they all did well; Sepp did well, Ki-Jana prefers right-back but did well, Billy did really well considering his age especially, and Nat Phillips came back from Stuttgart full of confidence.’

‘But Fabinho can play it as well, he did it against Bayern in the Champions League once. It worked pretty well because he is a smart player.’

Klopp therefore concluded that he intends to make use of ‘creative solutions’ at the back this season, though the Reds boss also admitted that he is hopeful such a requirement ‘will never come up’:

‘How it is with the squad, you have to find a solution and you want to prepare for all possible problems during the season and can’t, that’s what we have to accept every year. We will have solutions in specific moments.’

‘With four senior centre-halves, we played in Qatar with Jordan Henderson on that position and without Fabinho in as well.’

‘Be ready for a creative solution in the right moments but hope that it will never come up.’

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This article was edited by Josh Barker.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Arsenal FC 1 3 3
2 Aston Villa FC 0 0 0
3 Brighton & Hove Albion FC 0 0 0
4 Burnley FC 0 0 0
5 Chelsea FC 0 0 0
6 Crystal Palace FC 0 0 0
7 Everton FC 0 0 0
8 Leeds United 0 0 0
9 Leicester City FC 0 0 0
10 Liverpool FC 0 0 0
11 Manchester City FC 0 0 0
12 Manchester United FC 0 0 0
13 Newcastle United FC 0 0 0
14 Sheffield United FC 0 0 0
15 Southampton FC 0 0 0
16 Tottenham Hotspur FC 0 0 0
17 West Bromwich Albion 0 0 0
18 West Ham United FC 0 0 0
19 Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 0 0 0
20 Fulham FC 1 -3 0
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 3
Hendrick, Jeff Newcastle United FC 1
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United FC 1
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace FC 1
Aubameyang, Pierre-Emerick Arsenal FC 1
Lacazette, Alexandre Arsenal FC 1
Klich, Mateusz Leeds United 1
van Dijk, Virgil Liverpool FC 1
Magalhaes, Gabriel Arsenal FC 1
Harrison, Jack Leeds United 1
Bamford, Patrick Leeds United 1

Source: 101greatgoals.com