Jurgen Klopp puts his faith in forwards as Liverpool remain fixed under the spotlight

Klopp’s team go into the weekend as the joint-third highest scorers in the Premier League, with their total of 12 goals bettered only by Manchester City and Manchester United

Mike Whalley
Friday 29 September 2017 22:26
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Jurgen Klopp has thrown his support behind his front men
Jurgen Klopp has thrown his support behind his front men

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is certain that he has enough attacking talent at the club to challenge in the Champions League despite not signing a centre forward during the summer.

Klopp’s team go into the weekend as the joint-third highest scorers in the Premier League, with their total of 12 goals bettered only by Manchester City and Manchester United.

However, several of the leading contenders in the division are benefiting from the goalscoring form of a main striker, with Romelu Lukaku impressing at Manchester United, Alvaro Morata making a fine start at Chelsea and Harry Kane hitting good form at Tottenham.

Klopp has a wealth of attacking talent available, fielding his four first-choice front players together in a starting line-up for the first time on Tuesday as his side drew 1-1 away to Spartak Moscow in the Champions League.

Philippe Coutinho scored in that game, but Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah were all off target, as was Daniel Sturridge when he came on as a substitute.

While Liverpool were struggling to make their chances count in the Champions League, Kane, Lukaku and Morata were all making significant contributions for their clubs.

Kane scored a hat-trick for Tottenham against Apoel Nicosia, taking his total to nine goals in his last five matches, while Lukaku has hit 10 goals in nine games for Manchester United, with two in Wednesday’s 4-1 victory away to CSKA Moscow.

Morata, meanwhile, followed up a hat-trick for Chelsea at Stoke last Saturday with a classic glancing headed equaliser to inspire a 2-1 win over Atletico Madrid.

Klopp acknowledges that Firmino, who is effectively filling the centre forward role at present, is not a prolific striker in the mould of Kane or Lukaku. Yet the Liverpool manager says he has no regrets about the summer’s transfer activity.

He said: “We considered a lot over the summer. It’s not the time to talk about what we considered.

Klopp acknowledges that Firmino isn't a prolific striker like Kane or Lukaku (Getty)

“If there is a striker out there which is better than ours or fits better than ours, why we shouldn’t do it? We are not crazy.

“I’m really happy. We have Roberto Firmino. He is maybe not a 25-goal striker but ask anyone in the Premier League and they will say: ‘What a player.’”

Klopp, whose side visit Newcastle in the Premier League on Saturday, also feels that both Sturridge and England youth forward Dominic Solanke both have a significant role to play this season.

Sturridge is starting to get back to full fitness after three years of injury problems, while Solanke started the recent Carabao Cup defeat at Leicester, having been signed from Chelsea for £3m in May.

Sturridge is returning to fitness 

“We have Daniel Sturridge,” Klopp said. “We all know about his potential. Now he’s fit, so hopefully we can use it. And then everyone will ask for a fit Daniel Sturridge and want to have him.

"And we have Dom Solanke, for sure the biggest [young] English talent in the number nine position. That’s a fantastic situation.

“That we don’t score at this moment is not the fault of one player. Yes, maybe Harry Kane would have scored one or two of the chances we had, probably yes. But he missed chances in other games in other moments of his career.

“So it’s not always about asking for other players. It’s about work with what you have and that’s what we’re doing.”

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