EPL

Jurgen Klopp: Injured Thiago Alcantara will play for Liverpool again this season

By Sports Desk February 09, 2024

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insisted Thiago Alcantara would play again this season but did not know whether fellow midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai would be fit for this month’s Carabao Cup final.

Thiago was injured after playing his first 10 minutes of the campaign in Sunday’s defeat at Arsenal, while Szoboszlai is sidelined after aggravating a hamstring problem which caused him to miss most of January.

With Mohamed Salah (hamstring) still potentially two weeks away from rejoining training, Ibrahima Konate suspended and flu affecting the squad – Joe Gomez did not train on Thursday – the German jokingly threatened to throw out of the room anyone who suggested the options he had at his disposal were a luxury.

“Two or three weeks ago we sat here and were talking about the luxury problem of lining up players: if anybody asks me that question again then I will kick them out of the room,” said Klopp ahead of Saturday’s visit of Burnley.

“We talk once about it, then a week later we have a completely different situation.

“Thiago is not cool. Everything looked absolutely fantastic in training and then it’s a muscle issue.

“We don’t know the extent yet but it’s really not good news for him, for us or everybody.

“In normal procedure it wouldn’t be a big story as he wouldn’t have been out a long time. It’s not a big injury, definitely not, but it’s something nobody needed.”

On Szoboszlai, Klopp added: “Dom is running outside at the moment but is not ready for tomorrow.

“It’s pretty much the same injury as he had before, obviously it’s really not good that he got that again.

“We are fighting for days, if you want. Is it Brentford? Is it the final (against Chelsea on February 25) or is it after the final? I don’t know at the moment.

“Mo is going in the right direction. We hope – but we don’t know – that he can be a part of training next week. If you ask him, it’s next week.”

After the defeat at Arsenal, only their second loss this season, Klopp said he had no problems in lifting his players for the visit of next-bottom Burnley in front of the ground’s biggest attendance of 60,000 as all but a small part of the refurbished Anfield Road stand was now open.

However, he stressed they had to ignore the visitors’ form which has left them seven points from Premier League safety.

“From the outside world it is probably a proper banana skin. For a sportsperson it is probably not as it is an opponent we respect a lot,” he added.

“The first thing we should forget is where Burnley is in the table as that creates a potential banana skin – it’s just a game.”

As a player Vincent Kompany never won at Anfield in eight visits with Manchester City but played a pivotal role in preventing Liverpool winning the title in 2018-19 with a brilliant 25-yarder against Leicester which edged them a point ahead of Klopp’s side heading into the final game.

“I forgave him for that a long time (ago). If there are players I should hate, Arjen Robben is one of them,” said Klopp, referring to the then Bayern Munich winger’s 89th-minute winner against his Borussia Dortmund side in the 2013 Champions League final.

“I believe there are other situations in that season that were more influential than when Vincent Kompany scores that goal – and when I think about that situation I still think (James) Maddison should have blocked the shot.

“Vincent just tried to get rid of the ball and it ended up in the goal. Not that it’s not important but yes, I forgave long ago.”

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