Jurgen Klopp addressed the media on Friday ahead of Liverpool’s long-awaited return from the international break.
Here are five key points from the manager ahead of Liverpool’s home game against Brighton:
The inevitable Trent questions…
“Are you sure you want to open that box? I’m serious,” Klopp warned reporters after the inevitable questions arose about Trent Alexander-Arnold’s situation in England.
Of course they want that, and Jürgen finally explained what he is doing Yes, really reflects on Gareth Southgate’s use of Liverpool’s most creative player.
Klopp said his right-back was not in the best of moods after returning from international duty but gave him support to prove what England are missing in the coming weeks.
“There are always stories that people say he’s not a good defender. That’s not true,” he said.
“He’s a young player, he’s 23 and there’s room for improvement…
“Whatever team I would coach, I would definitely sign him.”
Major injury update
It’s been a while since we heard a generally positive injury update from Jurgen but that’s exactly what we got on Friday.
Andy Robertson, Curtis Jones, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are out but Ibrahima Konate could be involved against Brighton.
Klopp added that Robertson “looks really good” and should return next week or two.
“Luis Diaz only landed yesterday morning, I haven’t seen him yet. I heard he’s good,” said Klopp.
“Darwin Nunez, precaution after intense travel and games, same goes for Diogo.
“Calvin isn’t ready to play yet but I’m over the moon that he can train now, it’s really good. He needs training. There’s going to be a moment where he’ll probably be under-21 so he can get a game because we’re playing all the time now.
“I think Kelleher will play against the U21s this weekend. It’s not his season yet, he’s been injured for a long time, but he looks good in training.
“Ibou also needs training. Back for the weekend? Depends on today’s training.”
Next 6 weeks “very important”
This could be a crucial phase in Liverpool’s season and Klopp knows it.
After an underwhelming start to the season, the Reds need points, and fast, if they are to have any shot at the league or Champions League title this season.
“Of course, the next six weeks are very important for us,” admitted the boss.
“We didn’t get the start we wanted for some explainable reasons and some inexplicable reasons.
“It just wasn’t good enough at moments. But from here we go. Now it’s time to collect points.”
Fully fit squad by “mid to late” October?
Klopp has been much more positive about the players available to him and even mentioned a potential timeframe for those making their way back to full fitness.
Robertson, Keita, Jones and Oxlade-Chamberlain are still out but the manager seemed to indicate all four should return sometime in October.
“If everyone comes back and the others stay fit, then we have a squad that can handle a lot of football games.
“If we don’t have that, then it’s difficult. You prevail and the available guys have to play too often.
“At the moment it looks like the situation is better. Even the four players I mentioned earlier are on their way back. The squad would be complete by mid to late October if no one else was absent.”
Praise from Ramsay
It was great to see Calvin Ramsay back in training this week, wasn’t it?
Jurgen agrees and has been asked what he thinks the Scotland right-back can bring to his team once he is fully fit.
He’s still not expected to play for the first-team for a while as he builds fitness, but Klopp says he’s “excited” about Ramsay’s potential.
“He’s an outstanding talent,” said Klopp.
“We found him. I’ve seen a lot of his games. He’s done exceptionally well. He’s a real player, he’s really involved in everything. I’m excited about him.
“Then he came here and he had this problem with his back and he’s been out ever since. I saw him two or three times in training. Now we know a lot more about him as a boy and now we’re starting to work.”