‘The best news is that City have no clue who they’re facing as we don’t know our line-up ourselves!’: Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp laughs off tough pre-season after Napoli defeat
Jurgen Klopp has played down concerns over Liverpool’s poor pre-season preparations and attributed the results to being without six of his key players.
The Reds fell to a 3-0 defeat against Napoli on Sunday, and delivered a notably below-par showing against the side they had beaten in the Champions League group stages on their journey to winning the competition last season.
But the German boss admitted he wasn’t reading too much into his side’s recent misfortunes.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has laughed at concerns over his side’s pre-season performances
‘I have never had to work a pre-season without six players. It’s strange,’ Klopp said.
‘The best news is that City have no clue who they’re facing as we don’t know our line-up ourselves!’
Liverpool often looked bereft of ideas against their Italian opponents, and it wasn’t until moments before the full-time whistle that the Reds came close to scoring through Harry Wilson’s long-range effort.
A minor consolation from the friendly clash came in the form of the imminent return of some important members of Klopp’s squad.
The German was typically animated on the sidelines but unable to prevent his side’s defeat
Amin Younes added gloss to the scoreline for Napoli after tucking beyond Simon Mignolet
He added: ‘Shaqiri and Keita have trained once with us today. They’ll join Salah, Alisson and Firmino tomorrow. That’s five of six back which is great.’
The Champions League winners will be looking to quickly recover having been winless in their last four pre-season outings, after suffering reverses against Borussia Dortmund and Sevilla, drawing with Sporting Lisbon and now losing to Napoli.
But despite the mounting pressure to add to his squad, Klopp is adamant that no more new faces are likely to arrive at Anfield – following the earlier acquisitions of youngsters Sepp van den Berg and Harvey Elliott.
There could be outgoings from the Merseyside giants, however, after Klopp confirmed he was looking to ship out winger Ryan Kent on a permanent basis. ‘The time is over, I think, for loans because of his age. The players need to find a place where they can settle. A loan is not an option.’
Liverpool round off their pre-season campaign against Lyon on Wednesday before their Community Shield showdown against Manchester City at Wembley the following weekend.
The German international converted from close range after good work from Lorenzo Insigne
Liverpool secured the signing of talented 16-year-old Harvey Elliott from Fulham this week