Jurgen Klopp confident that new leaders will come to the fore with ‘Liverpool reloaded’
After former captain Jordan Henderson left this summer, the Liverpool coach wants the new players to step up and lead the team this year.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is confident that his team are back on form after a busy summer at Anfield.
A number of stalwarts from the Reds’ Premier League and Champions League winning team have departed, including the likes of Roberto Firmino, Fabinho and former captain Jordan Henderson. The club have spent big to bring in Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai and are believed to be close to a deal to sign Moisés Caicedo from Brighton & Hove Albion.
Virgil van Dijk has taken over from Henderson as club captain and forwards Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakpo are expected to improve their output in their second seasons in the league.
In a press conference ahead of the team’s Premier League opener against Chelsea on Sunday, Klopp stressed that this new iteration of his team - “Liverpool reloaded” - should not worry about the past as the club looks to the future.
“They have to grow into it,” Klopp told reporters on Friday. “We don’t have to say ‘Milner would have done this’ or ‘Henderson would have shouted here’... We should not do it like that, that makes no sense.”
“We have this kind of new start with this Liverpool FC reloaded and it’s an exciting thing. Everybody was asking for changes, rightly so, because we were together for a long time; things went really well and then not that well.”
Asked about the decision to allow a number of experienced stars to leave the club this summer, Klopp admitted that it had been a difficult decision.
“Timing for a change is always probably the biggest challenge in life, to find exactly the right moment. Now that’s happened and it’s good. A new chance for everybody, everybody has to step up.”
“The is a new leadership group, but not only them. If you look at the players not in the leadership group, but have all you need to be a leader, it’s absolutely exceptional,” Klopp said.
“They’re great - Cody [Gapko], Dominik [Szoboszlai], Mac Allister - it’s outstanding. These boys are out there as well and we all share responsibility.”
“Let’s do it. Let’s take responsibility and go from there. Don’t try to be like somebody else, help the team in the best possible way and that’s exactly what we try to tell the boys.”
When asked what gives him belief ahead of the season opener on Sunday, Klopp said that the side’s work in preseason had given him real confidence for the campaign ahead.
“The sessions I saw,” Klopp explained. “The desire, the concentration, the readiness and the openness. I saw a lot of things where my thought was, ‘OK, they mean business. Let’s give it a go.”