Klopp: “Signings? It doesn’t make sense at the moment”
The Liverpool manager looked forward to the start of the new Premier League season and was asked about .
The new Premier League season kicks off this weekend and Liverpool get their campaign underway travelling to Craven Cottage where they are guests of Fulham. Reds manager Jürgen Klopp attended the media on Friday afternoon to look ahead to the match and also spoke about other matters including the transfer market, new signing Darwin Núñez and the Qatar World Cup.
New season: “We never know what will happen. We have expectations, dreams... all of this kind of stuff and from now on we can be a bit more influential. What we did in the last few weeks is nice and important, but the real test is coming up. The next one will be more difficult, that’s how it is. All of the teams have improved - everyone tries to improve in the transfer market, using experience from last season. We have to improve anyway - little tweaks, building on the stuff we know that we can do and getting there with in a variety of ways. Being more dominant in moments with and without the ball. So a lot of football stuff we are thinking about. We try to help the boys to do that, so it becomes natural, with training sessions. I enjoyed the pre-season, the most part of it, so I’m positive, but that’s the problem - that’s my nature. We’ll see.”
First opponents, Fulham: “Fulham did extremely well last season. I met Marco [Silva] in managers’ meeting in London. Getting promoted by playing football is for me, one of the hardest things to do in the Championship. They all play football but being a real, football-playing side with more possession etc... they have all of my respect. That’s what Fulham did. A really good team. Fabio [Carvalho] was important part of that them. Harry Wilson is too, I think he’s injured at the moment. Of course they are difficult. In the week before we play a team, I always read a little bit about them and watch games. I think they still have a few problems to solve in the transfer market. But I am not sure if this is the third or fourth time we will play the champions of last season - they are always full of confidence - and this time we are away from home... Fulham will be tough, definitely. It will be a completely different game and we have to be ready for that”.
Injuries: “We have too many injuries, that’s true but at the moment, nothing has changed. We’ve a had a lot of unlucky situations. We started with Diogo pretty much not at 100%. In a few weeks’ time they will be back but they were not in the pre-season, which is not cool. Then Kostas was unlucky in a training situation. He might be ready to train next week, which is helpful. Ibou, in a challenge in the game against Strasbourg, we have to see how long it will take, but he will be out for a while. Oxlade, of course”.
Possibility of more signings: “It’s not cool but we cannot sort a problem that we will have for four weeks with a transfer for a year - that makes no sense for us. But, that transfer window’s still open, so we will see. The plans are, don’t go in that direction.”
Fabio Carvalho, former Fulham player and recent Reds arrival: “Oh, great, he’s a top player, I really love it - a massive talent and a really good kid. I’m really happy to have him so very important for us. We count on this age group as well. We don’t wait until they’re 22 or 23 or whatever to use them. No, no no. He’s ready like Harvey [Elliot] is ready. That’s really cool. We all need luck in life with injuries but without that, he will be a really important player for us”.
Diego Jota’s new contract: “Top, top, top. Real commitment to the club, he’s not even close to his limit, there’s much more to come. He’s a very smart person, a smart player, he’s delivered already and can improve a lot. It’s really good news for the club [for signing the renewal contract]. Good news for him as well. It’s a win-win situation. We can’t wait to work with him again, we had just one session with him this pre-season. It’s good having him around, he’s quite a character - even at his young age he is a very responsible person, a reasonable person. So he knows what to do to be successful in different areas and it’s good to have him”
Criticism of the World Cup: “Until the second half of the season, it’s definitely not a sprint. I think the first game back is the 26 December, until May. Until then, we will see. If the players have a break, it’s not a problem, it’s rather good, it’s like a winter break which I had a lot when I was a player in Germany - four weeks and stuff like that. It’s good, we know how to deal with that. The problem is for the players who will be at the World Cup and play for a long time, that’s just... it’s just not OK. But it was decided a long time ago, for whatever reasons. That’s it, if you go to the final at the World Cup, win it or lose it, you will be quite busy then the rest starts a week later. With these things, I am not angry at all, but when we start talking about it I really get angry, and with you as well, because in the end, my problem is, as much as everybody knows it’s not right, nobody talks often enough about it. Something has to change - we can’t just be constantly watching top class players, saying, ‘Oh my God aren’t they great!’ - it’s doesn’t work like that. It’s like with the climate. We all know we have to change but nobody’s really asking what do we have to do. That applies to me too. Can’t we just talk about it and do things properly, say, ‘FIFA, UEFA, stop, please start talking to each other’. There such be one meeting where they all start talking to each other, and the only subject should be, the most important part of this game - the players. That hasn’t happened yet. I am talking about the long-term effects. This World Cup happens at the moment for the wrong reasons but, everything is fine...”
Darwin Núñez: “Darwin is ready. That doesn’t mean he has to start, it’s not about that, obviously we still have different options and Darwin needs time to get used to a lot of things, but it is already a real help. It went really quick to be honest, in the first game where I thought, ‘Oh, what are we doing with him?’ - not because of him but because of the passes we played for him. So it was a proper pre-season training session for him. But now, obviously he is completely settled. He said himself he was very nervous in the beginning - from my point of view, I sympathise with that a lot, it’s completely normal. The lads, not just the Spanish speakers but everyone has made him feel at home which was very helpful. He’s already had an impact - he scored in the first final we played so that’s fine. The work doesn’t stop here, he’s in the best possible place”.