Jurgen Klopp acknowledges signing a centre-back would help Liverpool, yet he will not be getting frustrated over a lack of activity by the club in the January transfer window.
The reigning Premier League champions have been left with a shortage of options in defence due to long-term injuries to Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, while Joel Matip has struggled for fitness.
However, Thursday’s 1-0 defeat to Burnley saw the Reds endure a fourth successive league outing without scoring, an issue that Klopp insists would not be resolved by adding defensive reinforcements.
The Liverpool boss understands that the financial implications of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic make it tough to add new faces, so he instead focuses on working with the players he does have at his disposal.
You’ll Never Walk Alone is more important than ever right now. No good comes from feeling sorry for ourselves and excuses won’t help. It’s on us, all of us,to fight our way back.We’re at our strongest when we are one force- players & supporters, TOGETHER #UnityIsStrength #YNWA pic.twitter.com/IKWurvZSFL
— James Milner (@JamesMilner) January 22, 2021
“I’m not a five-year-old kid any more in that if I don’t get what I want I start crying,” Klopp told the media ahead of Sunday’s FA Cup trip to Manchester United.
“Most of the time in my life I didn’t get what I wanted, to be honest, so we are all pretty much used to that. It’s not like this.
“I’m responsible for a big part of this football club, but there are people who are responsible for the whole thing. I cannot make their decisions, I know they are with us and they support us, because they do.
“Now we talk about a centre-half. Yes, it would help, 100 per cent. Would we score more goals with a centre-half? I’m not sure. Would it give us a little bit more stability in specific moments? Probably, yes.
“But, again, it’s not about that. It’s not about what would be with somebody else, and I think never ever have we spoken in and around a transfer window like this about it, because I think that would then read as an excuse and we don’t need that.
“What we have to do is improve the football we play in a decisive area with this squad, not sitting here disappointed or frustrated with some decisions. I’m not.”
Liverpool did spend in the previous transfer window, adding Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich and Diogo Jota, who arrived from Wolves, but was sidelined by injury after a promising start. Konstantinos Tsimikas also joined from Olympiacos, though the left-back has featured sparingly.
Klopp has used inexperienced duo Rhys Williams and Nathaniel Phillips for some games at the back, while midfielders Fabinho and Jordan Henderson have filled in at the heart of the defence too.
— Gini Wijnaldum (@GWijnaldum) January 22, 2021
“We know what we would do in an ideal world, but it is not ideal. We have to deal with this situation, this is what we all have to do,” Klopp continued.
“A centre-half last night [against Burnley] would not have won us the game in this specific situation, so we really don’t have to talk about it.
“I know it’s a good thing to talk about – for you [the media] – but for me it’s just not that important. Everything is on the table and all the things are clear – we just have to work on the football stuff.”
Liverpool have had 87 attempts at goal since their last Premier League goal, including 27 against Burnley at Anfield as their 68-game unbeaten home run in the competition came to an end.
Klopp will hope for a change of fortune in the FA Cup, though the German has only reached the fifth round once during his time in charge on Merseyside.