Klopp: Liverpool needed new players in January

Martin Macdonald
Martin Macdonald Updated: 19 May 2021 15:43 BST 2 min read
Klopp: Liverpool needed new players in January

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists that the club simply needed new players in the January transfer window to ease their defensive crisis.

Throughout the campaign they have been without first-choice centre-backs Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, while Joel Matip recently suffered an injury that will keep him out for the rest of the season.

Jordan Henderson and Fabinho have been asked to drop back into centre-back, with young players Rhys Williams and Nathaniel Phillips also helping out.

On deadline day, Klopp would bring in two new defenders in Ben Davies from Preston and Ozan Kabak on loan from Schalke with the option to buy.

Kabak was signed on the recommendation of former Schalke manager David Wagner, a friend of the Liverpool boss, but Klopp insists the club made the decision based on more factors.

“He’s not here because Wagner was his coach,” Klopp explained to reporters on Tuesday.

“Whenever he spoke about Ozan it was always positive. Last few days, we didn’t speak. Everyone knows it all about Ozan. 20, 4th season in pro football. Schalke has a lot of problems but nothing to do with Ozan.

“Ozan is still a talent and has proven a lot. He is here now in a stable team. He can help us and we can help him. Our situation is really strange. We are without our 4 CBs. We needed players.”

As for Davies, Klopp likened the story to a Hollywood film, as the former Preston defender was signed by Liverpool almost out of nowhere.

“Both [Davies and Kabak] have experience in adult football,” he added.

“Ozan is young but makes him special as he has that experience. Ben slightly older, different pathway. That’s football. We don’t need a Hollywood film to see this story. Y’day Preston, today Liverpool.”

Liverpool take on Brighton in the Premier League on Wednesday evening.

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