Jurgen Klopp has denied it is time to rebuild his Liverpool squad but admits that a top four finish this season will be a big achievement.
Twelve of his current squad are 28 or older, with Fabinho, Andy Robertson, Diogo Jota, Joe Gomez, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Curtis Jones currently the only players under that age to have played a major role.
Only two – Thiago Alcantara and Jota – of Liverpool’s last six major transfers could be placed in the reinforcement category of Klopp’s first-choice XI and both have missed much of this season with injury.
A streak of two Premier League victories since Christmas has led some critics to suggest that the squad needs to freshen up after the achievements and workload of the past three years.
Klopp, however, disagrees and pointed to a long list of injuries to be at the heart of the matter.
“Rebuild? No. What exactly is“ rebuild ”? Rebuild means 10 out, 10 in? Changes to which XI? He said.
“I know what you mean, but I don’t think it’s time for a massive rebuild as I understand it: six, seven, ongoing contracts but trying to get rid of them and bring all of them the new faces.
“This year’s team hasn’t really had the chance to play together once. I think it would make sense to take a look at that, but on top of that, of course, small readjustments will occur.
“Respond to the situation but plan for the future and all those kinds of things at the same time.
“I’m not sure we can do that this summer, but that’s what we’ll try.”
A nine-point comeback on a possible 33 since Crystal Palace’s 7-0 beating on December 19 saw the defending champions drop from first to sixth, leaving them in a battle for the top four.
When asked to rate how successful Champions League qualifying was against an injury list that shows no signs of easing – after captain Jordan Henderson was ruled out for at least a month after surgery groin – Klopp said, “Fat. Yes. it would, absolutely.
“You can see the competition. Look, it’s not about possible performance.
“The match we played against Leicester [when they conceded three in the last 12 minutes] we lost, but the performance of the day was what the team usually wins.
“It’s all about the results. The table doesn’t lie. Never. That’s absolutely correct. We know we’re not that far in terms of performance, but we are in terms of results.
“That’s what we need to change and for all the different reasons it’s been a difficult season so far for us.
“We’re trying with whatever we have to fix it and while you’re trying to fix a problem, another problem comes up. It’s a season where things don’t go perfectly, obviously.”
Redknapp: It will be a surprise if Liverpool make the top four
Jamie Redknapp says Liverpool’s injuries and their drop in confidence and performance make a top-four finish more difficult – but expects them to return next season.
The defending champions’ Merseyside derby loss at home to Everton on Saturday made six losses in their last nine games and with captain Jordan Henderson the latest center-back option to be injured, Liverpool hopes of a Qualifying place for the Champions League are in doubt. .
Speaking of the latest Pitch to Post Preview Podcast, Redknapp believes “the Liverpool fear factor is gone” and that there will be no quick turnaround in their fortunes, with Sky Sports expert predicting more setbacks for Jurgen Klopp’s side. here the end of the season.
However, he says Liverpool fans can be optimistic about a return to form in 2021/22 when fans return to Anfield, and Virgil van Dijk is back in shape and belief is back in the squad. .
“They might not finish in the top four. It wouldn’t be a surprise – it’s actually more of a surprise if they finished in the top four in the form they are in,” Redknapp said.
“But they’ll have to see it as an exercise. It hasn’t gone well for them, but how can they do in the Champions League? Can they win the Champions League and upset the odds and do something about it? incredibly special on this front? “