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Jurgen Klopp: Signing a centre-back would not help Liverpool score goals

Merseysiders are 16th in the form table with their shortage in the heart of defence having caused structural and psychological issues

Melissa Reddy
Senior Football Correspondent
Friday 22 January 2021 22:29 GMT
(Liverpool FC via Getty Images)
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Jurgen Klopp conceded signing a centre-back would give Liverpool “a little more stability”, but refused to allow the absence of a new recruit this month to be used as an excuse for the club’s alarming dip.

The champions, six points off top spot, are winless in five Premier League games and have failed to find the back of the net in four of those.

A big part of the problem has been systematic deficiencies, having lost centre-halves Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez to long-term injuries with Joel Matip only fit enough to return to the starting XI on Thursday.

Burnley ended Liverpool’s 68-game unbeaten top-flight run at Anfield in that game, a defeat that sunk them to 16th in the form table.

READ MORE: Liverpool’s slump threatens more than title hopes

Ahead of Sunday’s FA Cup tussle away to a confident Manchester United, Klopp was asked whether he is frustrated by the inactivity in the market.

Transfer dealings are largely discussed between the manager, sporting director Michael Edwards and Fenway Sports Group president Mike Gordon; the latter having the power to sanction funds.

Klopp had already stated talks around recruitment happen “pretty much on a daily basis” and that he can “make recommendations” but “cannot spend the money”. The severe financial implications of Covid have rendered Liverpool more reticent to do business.

When pressed over his feelings about the situation, the German responded: “I am not a five-year-old kid any more who if I don’t get what I want, I start crying.

“Most of the time in my life I didn’t get what I want.

“I’m responsible for a big part of this club, but there are people responsible for the whole thing. I cannot make their decisions. I know they are with us, they want to support us and they do.

“Now we talk here about a centre-half, yes it would help, 100 per cent.

“Would we score more goals with a centre-half, I am not sure. Would it give us a little bit more stability in specific moments? Yes.

“It’s not about that. It’s not how it could be with someone else – never ever have we spoke in the transfer window like this, because it would be really an excuse and we don’t need that.

“What we have to do is improve the football in the decisive areas with this squad – that’s my job, not sitting here and being disappointed or frustrated with some decisions.

“I am not. Of course, we know what we would do in an ideal world, but the world is not ideal and not only for us. We have to deal with the situation and that’s what we’re doing.

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“A centre-half against Burnley would not have won us the game in the specific situation so we don’t have to talk about that.

“I know it is a good thing for you to talk about, but for me it is not that important because everything is on the table and we just have to work on the football stuff.”

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