Jürgen Klopp met with the media in Singapore ahead of Liverpool's match with Bayern Munich. He discussed Virgil van Dijk as Liverpool's new captain, a tough test vs Bayern and Curtis Jones' role with the team.
We all know by now that Virgil van Dijk is the new Liverpool captain, but what is the process like in choosing a new player to wear the armband like? Klopp elaborates:
“We had to make the decision and I had to think about it,” Klopp said. “But with Virg it's really now not difficult because I think he's an absolutely natural follower of a really big personality with Hendo, and we had to replace James Milner as well. Is that possible with one person? Probably not, so that's why it's really important that we speak, maybe a little bit later, about the leadership group, which is a really important group of people. Virg has everything to wish for to be a captain of a football club. Number one, he's probably, let me have a think, definitely the best-looking captain in the Premier League, which is important for team pictures! But, of course, personality-wise everything is there.”
Liverpool have looked impressive in their first three preseason matches, but picking up a win vs. Bayern Munich will not be so easy.
"For sure the most difficult game tomorrow, definitely," Klopp said. "We saw a few pictures of the previous games of Bayern against Kawasaki and against Man City. We wanted a strong opponent, we have a strong opponent, so this is definitely the toughest test for us in this pre-season. But that's what you need in this moment.”
Midfielder Curtis Jones has dropped into a more defensive role this preseason from his more attacking role Klopp discussed Jones' future role with the club once Liverpool signs more players.
"I think it's no secret that we are still looking for players joining us. But that's one thing and the other thing is using what you have. And I think Curtis can absolutely play that position.,” Klopp said. “Then in possession, there's no doubt that Curtis can have a massive impact from that position. I think his development in the last few months since he's with us is really remarkable. [He was] held back by some [injuries], especially by the last injury, which was really not helpful, wrong moment, too long, everything. Not his fault but just happens with young players.”
You can watch the full press conference by clicking here.
I am a little surprised that no one asked why Klopp bypassed Mohamed Salah for the captain's armband. It will also be interesting to see how Curtis Jones adapts to his new position or if he will stay there once the season starts. Like Klopp, I am excited to see how Liverpool preforms against top flight competition.
“Virg has everything to wish for to be a captain of a football club.”
“We wanted a strong opponent, we have a strong opponent, so this is definitely the toughest test for us in this pre-season.”