Jurgen Klopp vows to make changes at Liverpool this summer but insists his departure from the club will NOT be one of them… as the Reds boss hits back at claims that he is ‘too loyal’ to his players
Jurgen Klopp has vowed there will be a summer of change at Anfield – but his departure from Liverpool will not be one of them.
Liverpool face Wolves in an FA Cup third round replay on Tuesday and the tie has assumed huge significance on the back of a 3-0 defeat to Brighton – who await the winners in round four – which Klopp described as the worst of his managerial career.
The German was in the mood to talk yesterday and, in what felt like a significant press conference, Klopp defended himself against criticism he is too loyal to players, insisted his squad are still listening to his message but admitted that Liverpool have lost the element of surprise to their game.
Jurgen Klopp vowed to make changes at Liverpool this summer after their poor season
This, without question, is one of the most challenging periods of his seven-year reign but Klopp’s appetite to rebuild the squad is apparent and he made it quite clear he will not shy away from shaking up a group that critics believe has gone stale.
‘Of course I have heard that I am too loyal,’ said Klopp, who is not expected to have Darwin Nunez available for selection at Molineux. ‘I heard that before and I am not. I am loyal – I think everybody should be loyal – but I am not too loyal.
‘It is an intelligent question. At Borussia Dortmund, it was clear when I left (in 2015) – I said something has to change. It is a different situation (here). Either the manager’s position changes or a lot of other things change.
‘So, as far as I am concerned, what I hear – unless someone tells me (different) – I will not go. So that means maybe there is a point where we have to change other stuff. We will see but that is for the future, like summer or whatever. Not now. I have space and time to think about it.
The Reds were thrashed by 3-0 by Brighton in arguably the worst display of Klopp’s tenure
‘We have to play better football now. We cannot play and say: “Ok, these are the problems but next season we don’t have them anymore”. That is a really long time. I cannot promise we will fly tomorrow but what I want to promise is that we really fight and everyone can see it.’
It was always going to be a pivotal summer for Liverpool. Klopp has been speaking to owners Fenway Sports Group about their quest to find new investment but he ‘had not to tell you about it’ and there is also the need to bring in a new Sporting Director with Julian Ward leaving.
An overhaul of his midfield will take place. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita will leave when their contracts expire; the deals for stalwarts Roberto Firmino and James Milner are both up in June but, given Klopp’s regard for them, nobody would be surprised if they got 12 month extensions.
Jude Bellingham is Liverpool’s prime transfer target for the summer window but Klopp will address all that in the future and, as of now, his thoughts are channelled into finding a way to get his team to the levels they were at when winning the FA Cup last May.
There is likely to be a summer of change at Liverpool with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (L) and Naby Keita (R) two players expected to depart as their contracts come to an end
Jude Bellingham is Liverpool’s prime transfer target for the summer window of 2021
‘The only thing I want is to fix this situation, that’s all,’ said Klopp. ‘And with all the things, some of them, it was clear we’d have problems and it would be another important period of change really but with all the injuries, it’s much more than you could have expected.
‘That is a fact as well but nobody is interested in it. Other teams are flying and that is fine – we were in that position last year. I’m responsible for specific things. With all the things you do, I really think you should behave properly and not blame somebody so you don’t get blamed yourself.
‘I hate that (opponents have worked Liverpool out) but I understand it. But I see it as a chance, too. It is long ago that we could surprise opponents because we were just good or whatever, for long periods. Imagine we play a really good game now? That would be really cool. We will get there.’