Jurgen Klopp names five Liverpool players who are the future ahead of squad rebuild
Liverpool have eight Premier League fixtures remaining amid an underwhelming season.
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The Reds have just eight matches to go in the Premier League having endured a dire campaign by their own standards. Ahead of today’s clash against Nottingham Forest, they sit just eighth in the table while they’ve crashed out of the Champions League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup.
Certainly, it’s a stark contrast from this time 12 months ago. Klopp’s men were in pursuit of an unprecedented quadruple and went on to win the FA Cup and Carabao Cup while finishing a point behind Manchester City in the Premier League title race and losing the Champions League final to Real Madrid.
Liverpool have looked more like their old selves in the past two games - battling from two goals down to earn a 2-2 draw against Arsenal before thrashing Leeds United 6-1 at Elland Road.
Now with a clear schedule ahead, Klopp’s looking forward to putting a platform in place that can provide a base for 2023-24 and named Luis Diaz, Darwin Nunez, Cody Gakpo and Stefan Bajcetic as players who are going to be key down the line.
Klopp said: “I read now, I am not sure he said it exactly, but I saw the headline that Pep Guardiola said they (Manchester City) are exhausted. “Did he say that? It’s not a surprise because they play another season like [last season], which is super intense. I am sure he will tell the boys that they will have to give it their all anyway, which they will do but it is really tough.
“So we have that now and we have more time in this period that we don’t normally have because we usually play every three days but now it is two weeks when we play three games and I want to really use this training time we have to create something which we can build on and use. How to play with it and bring the boys together.
“So Lucho was here for half a year, he was sensational and then he was injured until recently. So is he now fully settled? Of course not, how could he be? Now we have time to bring him, step by step, back into the team.
“Darwin came in a year when it had been two or three years ago when we were absolutely flying, for a striker it would have been a pure joy to play for us because each ball was ending up in the box. For Darwin that would have been a pure joy for him. So he can still get more used to all the things we do, which is the same for Cody.
“Diogo, he had an awful year with injuries, so far. That is what we want to do, the same is in midfield but, unfortunately, Stefan is not with us now. He has a long-term injury and he will be back for the pre-season, which is good. So the future has started already, let me say it like this. But while we are here we have to win football games now.”
“If we don’t qualify for any European competition, it would obviously be a massive disappointment but we should make sure it doesn’t waste time during that period and that we really use it now, because pre-season will be quite long but it is short to prepare a long season, so I hope we can take some things from this season which are more useful than just telling us it was the wrong way.
“So what we learned this season, a lot, is how it doesn’t work out. So from a counter-pressing monster to pretty much a non-existent counter-pressing side. I thought it was far away, to be honest, but it was pretty quick. It was pretty much done.
“Getting back to that to make it pretty natural is not that easy, especially during a season when you constantly play the next game and you’re trying to tell the boys: ‘By the way, don’t forget to counter-press’. Then it would be really easy but it doesn’t work like that.”