Liverpool begin the new season with a glut of leading-line men. Jürgen Klopp currently has six strikers to call on and nowhere near enough opportunities for all of them to get game time. The likes of Mario Balotelli and Christian Benteke are not long for this squad but for now they remain Liverpool players and while they’re at the club Klopp is intent on treating them as usable components.
“The players who won’t start must still be confident and feel they are an important part,” said the Liverpool manager. “They cannot feel we don’t care about them.
“It’s unlikely we will start with four or five strikers in one game, but if other players are injured, maybe we think about this.”
Divock Origi and Daniel Sturridge will be Klopp’s preferred go-to men up top, considering fitness and form. Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané can also lead the line, with both showing a propensity for smart runs and taking up advantageous positions from a striker’s post. Danny Ings seems a good fit for a Klopp team but even the ex-Burnley man will find his chances limited with such an excess of attacking talent around him.
“Benteke, Balotelli, Ings, all the other strikers, they are really good strikers,” said Klopp. “But at the end, having six strikers is a little too much, but is still possible.”
Jürgen Klopp knows what he’s working with. He knows the abilities of the players available to him and his coaching staff. He knows the players that he is likely to use as well as he one’s who are likely to miss out regularly. But he also knows that it would be silly for the club to get rid of players for fees below their market value just because he’s overloaded in any one position. Today, Klopp reiterated the club’s stance of not offering any super-saver, end-of-the-transfer-window mega-deals.
“If we make presents because we have too many strikers,” Klopp restated, “that’s the biggest mistake. “Until August 31, I could change my mind. I’m not that type of guy, but I could. We will see what happens.”