Klopp’s Verdict On Liverpool 4-0 Arsenal
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Jurgen Klopp has been reluctant to rely upon the fringe members of his squad unless he is forced to and certainly, the German has had enough injuries over the past two seasons to contend with. At least in January, the Liverpool boss knows will be left without two of his key players and this time, he has a chance to prepare.
It was helpful for the Reds boss that Liverpool produced a stunning second-half display to blow away Arsenal 4-0 as it allowed him to rest some of his burned out stars.
Sadio Mane’s header had put them in front at the break before Diogo Jota’s strike doubled the tally.
Mohamed Salah made sure all members of the attacking trident got their name on the scoresheet and at that point, Klopp was able to rest his most important players.
The sight of Takumi Minamino and Divock Origi is something Liverpool fans are likely to see more and more in the upcoming weeks. More so than at any other point in the season, for sure.
And the fact Minamino himself got in on the act to round off a convincing victory would have pleased Klopp.
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The Japanese will be needed to deputise as a first-team regular when Salah and Mane head off to the Africa Cup of Nations on December 27.
Depending on their nations’ progress in the competition, they could be absent for six weeks at the maximum. To lose two of their star attackers will be a blow for Liverpool, that cannot be understated.
Salah has already scored 11 Premier League goals this season and laid on seven for his team-mates, while Mane has seven goals and one assist.
Take their goals away this season and Liverpool would lose over half of their overall total of 35.
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Replacing the pair will be almost impossible and Klopp has not ruled out making a move in January to provide cover. Names such as Rennes starlet Jeremy Doku, Leeds winger Raphinha and Sparta Prague wonderkid Adam Hlozek have all been mentioned as potential signings.
But Klopp is a reluctant spender as it was established in the January 2021 window when he signed only Ozan Kabak on loan and Ben Davies from Preston for £500,000.
That was in the midst of a serious defensive injury crisis, so the 54-year-old is unlikely to push for a permanent transfer when Salah and Mane are only going on international duty for a short spell.
In which case, he will have to make do with the options at his disposal. And like it or not, they are chiefly handing Origi and Minamino more game time.
Between them, they have just 43 minutes of Premier League action this season. Given the form of Salah, Mane and Jota, with Roberto Firmino also pushing for a starting spot, that is not entirely surprising.
It was widely speculated that both players would be sold last summer, but the market value placed on their heads did not attract any buyers. Klopp himself admitted he thought Origi would depart, but perhaps now he will be glad that he stayed put at Anfield.
The Belgian has struck three goals in all competitions this season, netting when coming off the bench in the 3-2 defeat to West Ham before the international break.
Additionally, he hit goals against Norwich and Preston in the Carabao Cup, indicating his desire to make an impression to his manager.
It was claimed that Newcastle were exploring the possibility of a loan-to-permanent move for Origi in January, but The Northern Echo report Liverpool have “no intention” of letting Origi leave in January due to Salah and Mane’s commitments.
Similarly, Minamino did actually leave on loan in search for the regular football last season but struggled to impress with Southampton.
But like Origi, he has contributed to the goal statistics in recent weeks. He bagged a double in the 3-0 win against Norwich and joined Origi in netting against Preston.
He also took his chance from the bench to slot home against Arsenal, giving his manager food for thought for the coming weeks.
Klopp ensured his praise for the Japan international didn’t fall on deaf ears, praising his forward and promising minutes for the 26-year-old in the coming weeks.
“You can’t imagine how happy I am with Taki,” he told reporters.“He’s in an incredible moment and today he was actually our solution for four positions, I think.“I’m pretty sure he played really well for Japan in the international games. Now he’s here and very important for us.
“We’re so happy, everybody was so happy for him that he scored the goal. The way he played today reflects how well he is training at the moment.
“He will have games, no doubt about that.”
Klopp may still be pondering his potential transfer options in the coming weeks, but signing a midfielder may be more of a priority with long-term injuries to Harvey Elliott and Naby Keita.
And with Origi and Minamino proving they can be relied upon to provide goals, it may save Liverpool some much-needed funds from their transfer purse to focus on elsewhere.
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