'You can be excited about what's possible' – Klopp unworried by Mane departure

By Sports Desk July 11, 2022

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists the Reds must be excited rather than concerned about the prospects of the new season, despite the departure of Sadio Mane.

Mane completed a €41million (34.7m) move to Bayern Munich in June, ending a successful six-year spell at Liverpool, where he won both the Premier League and Champions League.

Since arriving from Southampton in 2016, Mane scored 90 goals in 196 Premier League games, a tally bettered only by Jamie Vardy (104), Mohamed Salah (118) and Harry Kane (134) in that period.

The Senegal international heads to the Bundesliga champions for the 2022-23 term, while Klopp's side have brought in Darwin Nunez from Benfica to fill the void up top.

Salah has also penned a contract extension at Anfield, with youngsters Fabio Carvalho and Calvin Ramsay arriving as well, and Klopp believes Liverpool have no reason to worry for the next campaign.

 

"We know how good Sadio is, we will realise how good he was for us in moments because there were just 'Sadio moments' when no one else can do it like him," Klopp told Sky Sports News.

"That's not a bad thing because two years ago Diogo Jota came in and Diogo did amazing stuff for us.

"Bobby Firmino had probably not the season we all expected because of injuries but in training Bobby is back, 100 per cent. He's a world-class player.

"You don't have to be worried when you think about us or you can be excited about what's possible for us. We cannot do the same thing year-in, year-out, it's just not possible.

"We have a base, we have to build on this base and be more unpredictable for other teams and that's possible with bringing in other players because they have a different skill-set.

"How can you keep going? How can you improve a world-class football team? It's by training, obviously – we believe in that a lot – but as well in bringing new players in.

"We need fresh blood, a new dynamic, fresh desire to create a team full of excitement and determination for the things coming.

"Sometimes you do it exactly like you want and sometimes you have to react on a situation like when Sadio told us that he wants to move on. We have to replace him, he's a pretty good player.

"Thankfully we could do that already in the window by bringing in Luis [Diaz] and now Darwin. Fabio is a very exciting player.

"Two of the world-class front three are still here plus extra, extra quality, The spine of the team is as well, the last line, the midfield, have a very interesting mix of experience and youth. I'm really looking forward to working with that."

There have been growing suggestions Liverpool still require another midfielder to partner Thiago and Fabinho, with Borussia Dortmund's Jude Bellingham among the names heavily linked to Merseyside.

Despite still being aged 18, Bellingham started 44 games for Dortmund in all competitions in the 2021-22 season – four more than any other player – but Klopp will not be making a move for the midfielder.

 

"No. I can say that," he told reporters when asked if there would be more transfer activity. "I don't think something will happen in midfield, but you never know. If somebody comes to you and says, 'I want to go'.

"Nobody came to me but if that happens then we have to talk. But if the situation stays like it is, then tell me why [I should sign someone]? I do not understand.

"People told me about this discussion but the last thing that would have crossed my mind is that we have to do this.

When pressed on interest in Bellingham, Klopp added: "He's not on the market, so that's the first problem with that player. Well, the only problem with that player!"

Related items

  • We’ll throw everything at title bid – Trent Alexander-Arnold We’ll throw everything at title bid – Trent Alexander-Arnold

    Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold insists the squad plan to “throw everything” at their final six matches of the season as they try to finish Jurgen Klopp’s final season on a high.

    Only a month ago the talk was still of an unprecedented quadruple with the Carabao Cup already in the trophy cabinet but FA Cup and Europa League exits, plus a slip-up in the league, has left them with just one focus.

    The task of overhauling Manchester City’s two-point advantage, and also getting ahead of Arsenal, is not an inconsiderable one but Alexander-Arnold said in the aftermath of their Europa League exit to Atalanta despite a 1-0 victory in Bergamo that the players had spoken about what remained of their campaign.

    “After the game we spoke quite positively about the rest of the season. We’ve got a month left and we need to give it everything,” said the England international.

    “That’s what we are going to do, we are going to throw everything at it and try to do all that we can.

    “We know it’s not in our hands any more but we need to be as good as possible and just be in the best position that we can to capitalise if teams do slip up.”

    Against Atalanta Alexander-Arnold made his first start since mid-February following a knee injury and in the first half in particular looked like he had never been away, dictating play after being given licence to roam from his nominal right-back position.

    The team faded in the second half and the 25-year-old was withdrawn after 72 minutes but he will have a key part to play in the last six matches.

    “I think I just ran out of juice in the second half but in the first half I was enjoying my football, finding passes, playing the game I love,” he told the club’s official website.

    “I think you can tell by the way I played it was special for me to be back out there and help the team win the game.”

    Liverpool head to Fulham on Sunday with the chance to overtake City, who play in the FA Cup semi-final, before a Merseyside derby against Everton at Goodison Park in midweek and then a trip to West Ham.

    “We have got a huge game that we need to go and win,” added Alexander-Arnold.

    “We have got a very difficult week ahead of us, three away games that we need to win and get results in and that’s our aim now.”

  • Jurgen Klopp: Liverpool can secure Premier League crown with perfect finish Jurgen Klopp: Liverpool can secure Premier League crown with perfect finish

    Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp remains positive about their place in the title race and still believes if they win all remaining six matches they will be Premier League champions again.

    A difficult run of results – starting with a draw at Manchester United and followed by home defeats to Atalanta and Crystal Palace – ended with a 1-0 Europa League victory in Bergamo but that could not prevent their exit from the Europa League 3-1 on aggregate at the quarter-final stage.

    A first clean sheet in 10 matches was a boost to confidence, especially as they continue to struggle to find their best form at the other end of the pitch, and Klopp thinks the two-point gap to leaders Manchester City can be overhauled with a perfect run in.

    “It’s not obviously in our hands, it is not about that,” said Klopp.

    “I think if we would win all our games there is a good chance we will be champion. If not there is a good chance someone else will be champion.

    “Maybe we only have to win five, but nobody knows. Who would have thought that Arsenal lose against Aston Villa?

    “We all sit here and think ‘OK, yeah. City will win all their games’ and that’s happened quite frequently, but they have a lot of games to play and difficult opponents as well.

    “We don’t think about that. We don’t think about them. It is just how can we make sure we start wining games again.”

    Over the course of their recent rivalry, Liverpool have had a couple of seasons where the race to the line with City has seen them miss out by just a point despite matching each other win-for-win for the majority of the run in.

    But Klopp said that experience was not necessarily as positive as onlookers may believe.

    “When we were in the position we didn’t win the league in the end. We lost by a point and stuff like that. What kind of experience is that?” he added.

    “We know how to get there – and then don’t (win). It’s not about that.

    “It’s good to know that you are good and you can cause other teams problems.

    “But the thing is clear: if you want to be champion in the Premier League you have to be close to perfect and if you are not perfect you have to deal with the setbacks in the best possible way or in a perfect way.

    “That is what we are now doing. We had a setback week with three games we didn’t like too much, the results especially, and now we have to start turning it around.”

    Key to turning things around will be a change in fortunes in front of goal.

    Three goals in their last four matches has stalled their progress with the forwards failing to take numerous opportunities they have created.

    Mohamed Salah, whom Klopp defended after he missed a key chance to make it 2-0 against Atalanta, has scored six – two of which were penalties – in 11 matches since returning from two months out with a hamstring injury.

    Luis Diaz has two in eight games, Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakpo have just one in their last seven, while Diogo Jota has yet to find the net in three appearances since returning injury.

    “We had good moments and had an awful lot of chances, and didn’t use one of them more of less,” said Klopp.

    “That’s not great but the worst thing in football is not to have chances. It is better you deal with chances you miss than you have no chances.

    “That’s why I’m absolutely positive and after processing things properly, yeah, I’m more than happy with the situation.”

  • Coventry boss Mark Robins: Manchester United are the ‘biggest club in the world’ Coventry boss Mark Robins: Manchester United are the ‘biggest club in the world’

    Coventry boss Mark Robins has scoffed at the “derisory” criticism of Manchester United, insisting his side’s FA Cup semi-final opponents remain the biggest football club on the planet.

    Robins began his career at Old Trafford and his history with the club is firmly intertwined with the cup, with his third round winner against Nottingham Forest in 1990 often cited as the goal that saved Sir Alex Ferguson from the sack.

    Ferguson’s latest successor in the hot seat, Erik ten Hag, could do with firming up his own position and could find himself on extremely rocky ground if the Red Devils were denied a shot at silverware by Championship opposition.

    They are winless in four games since reaching the last four with a penalty shootout victory over Liverpool and sit seventh in the Premier League table, but Robins believes their problems have been overstated.

    “People, pundits, are talking in a derisory way about Manchester United and what they’re doing, how they’re performing,” he said.

    “For people who are talking about Manchester United are this or that, or they concede lots of shots: you’re talking about a team that is full of talented players, top international players. We know they are clearly favourites to win this game, by a million miles, simple as that.

    “They can hurt anybody on their day. The game against Liverpool their goals were outstanding. So you’ve got a lot of things to consider, especially as a Championship club going up against the biggest club in the world.

    “For Manchester United, this is a normal occasion. They play at Wembley a lot of times, there’s some England internationals there and other internationals who’ve played at Wembley on numerous occasions. It’s an expectation for them and their supporters; for us it’s slightly different.”

    The Sky Blues booked their place in the last four with a dramatic 3-2 win over Wolves, with stoppage-time strikes from Ellis Simms and Haji Wright completing a remarkable upset.

    The euphoria of that result has not carried in to their league form though, with three losses in their last four games leaving their play-off hopes – and regular games against the likes of United – all but over.

    With that in mind, Robins has urged everyone connected to the club to make the most of the experience in front of them.

    “We’ve already given the fans a special occasion getting there. Being in the national stadium with Manchester United, it doesn’t get much bigger than that,” he said.

    “It’s a brilliant opportunity for everyone and there’s a lot of excitement around the city. There is a global reach there for Coventry City, the world will be tuning in and it’s a great occasion for all of our players.”

    One player who will not be part of City’s big day is Kasey Palmer, suspended after picking up a booking for encroaching on the pitch to celebrate the late triumph over Wolves.

    “In the moment it’s the reaction we all made, you don’t necessarily think too much about it,” Said Robins.

    “It was really poor but the rules are the rules and you’ve got to abide by them. Unfortunately for him and for us, we can’t use him.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.