Ahead of Saturday’s match against Newcastle United Liverpool head coach Jürgen Klopp was optimistic, though balanced his comments with a heavy dose of realism.
Though Klopp was able to report mostly positive injury updates, with many attacking players specifically heading back towards full fitness, the Reds boss had bad news on young right back Calvin Ramsay, who was brought in to provide depth and cover — and a challenge — to Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Nineteen-year-old Ramsay is out for the season following his successful surgery earlier this week. The teenager will be frustrated with his start in a Liverpool shirt, having been limited to just two first team appearances before being cut short by injury.
The injury itself is not keeping him out; rather, those behind the scenes think a slow comeback and adaptation process would most benefit the player, who they think highly of.
Having struggled with a couple injuries to start his Liverpool career, Klopp and his staff are taking a long-term approach:
If you want to adapt to a new thing and can’t train for four months, stuff like this, it’s really tricky. He was always this step behind, now he has that injury and this season is over – even if you could come back a bit earlier, that makes no sense because now it is really to build the boy up physically and then to have a new start and we go again.
We cannot play catch-up all the time with him because he is a great talent, a real talent, who had the most unlucky start possible.
But in the end when he finishes his career at 36 or 37 or whatever, if he can say then, ‘The most difficult year of my career was the first’, or the second in his case maybe, that’s absolutely OK because all the others were better and we did the right things in the first two. So, that’s what we try to do now with him.
Klopp was also asked about Fabio Carvalho, who has not been in the squad of late. While optimistic about Carvalho’s talents, Klopp nonetheless acknowledged that the young player is likely frustrated with his recent lack of opportunities:
Fabio is a very young player as well, big talent, absolutely, played well for us in a couple of games. Now it’s a situation we have to make a squad and he couldn’t make it for the last one — that’s how it is, that’s the truth, didn’t play too often because, from my point of view, we needed different skills when we started or when we changed during the games.
That’s pretty much all, he did nothing wrong, he improved a lot, he developed a lot, he’s a good kid and he’s in the middle of the group, in the middle of the team.
That’s all fine but obviously [he’s] not in a happy place in the moment — I cannot see that in the pitch, or when I see him, it’s not really obvious, but I can imagine because he’s a footballer [and] he wants to play and didn’t play often enough. That doesn’t help a lot but that’s another thing in a long career [that] you have to go through. For me, it looks in the moment that he takes it as good as somehow possible.