Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has provided insight into the club’s decision not to pursue new signings for the right-back or centre-back positions during the summer transfer window.
In a press conference held on Friday, the German shed light on the club’s rationale and outlined the factors that influenced this notable choice.
One of the key aspects he highlighted was the confidence he holds in the current squad’s abilities, pointing out emerging talents from the club’s academy, such as Conor Bradley and Jarell Quansah.
Bradley, temporarily filling in for the injured Trent Alexander-Arnold at right-back, was named Man of the Match in the Reds’ 2-1 victory over Fulham in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg.
Meanwhile, Quansah has been a notable presence in Klopp’s side, racking up 15 appearances and contributing three goals across all competitions.
“A few of the top things I inherited when I was here was this connecting coach between the academy and first team,” Klopp explained.
“In the moment when somebody is showing up a bit or needs to get rewarded, then they come up to us in training.
“Vitor is not saying it’s about numbers. Sometimes it’s a guy I’ve never seen before. We have a lot of good kids with us. Conor [Bradley] after the loan, and same for Jarell [Quansah], when the pre-season started they looked ready from the first game of pre-season.
“Conor had the injury out of the blue to be honest. It’s not easy to run with these boys and that held him back. We were desperately waiting for him to get back.
“It’s always the same thing, ‘You have to buy a right back so Trent can play in midfield, you have to buy a centre-half’.
“But we have Conor, we have Jarell. It’s not a popular opinion but if we had bought a right back or centre-half, these boys would not have shown.
“I told him I was waiting longer for the moment Conor could finally play than probably Conor was waiting for it, because I was just happy to give him that opportunity.”
He added, “I can only integrate into the first team what the Academy produces.
“With the amount of Academy players at the Arsenal game, I think it was 10 altogether. Yeah, that’s actually a really nice thing.
“The Academy produce the players but it’s all about the players because even the Academy cannot perform miracles and make wonderful art out of a piece of wood, there must be some talent. I love that.
“These boys, they [don’t have to be] Scousers but when it’s on top of that a Scouser it’s even more fun, but obviously we have players from different areas here in the region.
“So that [being a Scouser] will not be the ticket into the first team, but it’s cool. I think what helps most is kind of the rise of Trent [Alexander-Arnold], Curtis [Jones], now Jarell.
“That’s what drives young players, to see it’s possible in a top team in the Premier League, or maybe in the world, to get into. It’s good. We are really happy about that but obviously we needed it as well, that’s clear.”
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