Liverpool FC Away Kit

Watch: Jurgen Klopp's pre-match press conference - Norwich vs Liverpool

LFC Globe
14th August 2021

spoke to reporters ahead of Liverpool's opening game of the Premier League season as they take on newly-promoted at Carrow Road on Saturday.

The boss was quizzed on various topics, including his squad's preparedness for the new campaign, injury concerns and Liverpool's relative lack of activity in the transfer market.

Klopp confirmed that centre-backs and are fit and ready for the new season, having been kept out of most of the last campaign due to injury.

The duo featured during pre-season alongside and new signing . The former also returned from an injury that saw him miss the Reds' push for a Champions League spot at the latter end of last season.

Virgil van Dijk

Image: Liverpool FC via Getty Images

“I think so, it looks like [they are available to start],” Klopp said of Gomez and Van Dijk.

“But how it is with these kind of things, we have nothing to rush in this department.

“We just have to make then a decision on who will start, who will come on, things like this and if I think they are ready for 90 minutes then they are ready to start.”

The Reds will be without , who sustained an ankle injury in the Reds' pre-season clash against Athletic Club last Sunday, whilst Klopp confirmed would also be missing for the Reds' opener on Saturday following a knock against Osasuna.

“He had a slight concussion so we just have to follow the protocol,” Klopp said.

Curtis Jones

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“He is fine, he feels fine again, but that’s the protocol. He is available for training from Sunday on I think.”

With the likes of , , , and , the Reds are well stocked in the centre of the park, so Jones' absence shouldn't be too much of a concern.

However, Klopp is unlikely to start either or , who have been involved in pre-season training for just a week.

“We don’t prepare them for one game, we prepare for the full season,” the boss said, suggesting the duo won't have a major role to play in the first clash of the season.

Meanwhile, the boss also explained the lack of Liverpool's activity during the summer transfer window, insisting "we cannot spend money we don't have."

Konate is the Reds' only summer arrival thus far, having joined the club from in a £36m deal. A replacement for and an extra body in attack were originally thought to be the Reds' next steps in the window, but any potential deals have failed to materialise for now.

With concerns raised about other sides adding to their squad whilst Liverpool stand still, the boss highlighted the pandemic's effect on club finances whilst adding: “These clubs (Man City, Man United, , PSG) don’t depend on these kinds of things.”

“We all know the situation of , City, PSG for example. I don’t know exactly how United do it.

“We have our way we do it. We are [only] allowed to spend the money we earn. That’s what we always did.”

The boss also engaged with a journalist who specifically asked about Wijnaldum's departure and whether the Reds would replace his qualities in the side with a new face.

Jurgen Klopp, Gini Wijnaldum

Image: Liverpool FC via Getty Images

“He was the most consistently available player. I don’t think you have to hide the relationship I had with Gini and how much I love his way of play and how reliable he was. But he’s not here anymore,” Klopp said.

“So you tell me if you would sign a midfielder and tell me the name and I’ll think about it. I am really interested. We can count our midfielders and you can tell me if we need to replace .

“We have so far, and Henderson have not been involved in pre-season, we played quite a few games with Milner, and Harvey.

“We have another midfield which played the second game [vs. Osasuna] with Oxlade, and – another player who can and will make the next step, an exceptional talent.

“Now you tell me which player we need. I am not angry or annoyed – I am really interested – which kind of player do you think we should sign?

“Should he score more goals than Gini, should he defend better than Fab, should he be more creative than Naby, Curtis, Ox, Harvey? What do you want?”

The boss also lauded that supporters will be back in the stadiums for the upcoming season, with Anfield nearly full for the games against Athletic Club and Osasuna last weekend.

Anfield

Image: Liverpool FC via Getty Images

“The little difference is now that we obviously play at Norwich and not at Anfield, and they will be exactly as our people were before they went back to Anfield,” Klopp said.

“We are well ready for a proper fight, that's what we are preparing for all the time now because the competition starts and the pre-season friendlies are over. It was nice to try a few things, to test here and there, but now all of the other stuff is there again, we play for points, we play for our supporters obviously, for fulfilling expectations, dreams, whatever. That is the difference.

“But we had the longest pre-season for a while, especially the longest pre-season with a big, big squad together. A lot of players were involved in the full pre-season, some came back at least early enough, some came back a little bit later, but now they are all here and it's a good situation.

“That's what you want at the end of the pre-season – that you have a few choices to make and then to start the season with the first game. We know the intensity will be now completely different and we think in the moment we are ready for it but we have to prove that on Saturday.”

Watch the full press conference above for more of the manager's thoughts ahead of the start of the Premier League season....

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