It’s fair to say it’s been a somewhat bumpy road so far for Liverpool’s midfield additions Naby Keita and Fabinho.
Keita, forced to wait a year before arriving at Anfield, has seen some good moments in flashes disrupted by injuries. Fabinho had to wait some time to even get on the pitch, but a strong showing at home to Red Star Belgrade has been followed by some more underwhelming performances.
Jurgen Klopp is not concerned, however.
“Of course [they will get chances]”, Klopp told the official Liverpool website. “But Naby already played really well for us at the start of the season.
“It was a surprise that it worked so well so quickly but then he was injured and hasn’t played a lot since then. But Fabinho had three, four, five games in which he mostly played well, so that is all really good.
“We don’t need only these players, we need all the players for a very intense period. If we stay fit and we can choose to rest players, that would be great. If not, we will struggle a little bit.
“December, January, you need to be a little bit lucky with injuries. That’s how it is. Then you can build on it in February and so on.
“You always have a few problems but that doesn’t mean anything. It would just be cool if we came through with the right results and a fully-fit squad.”
Klopp was also asked of another player, Virgil van Dijk, and as one expected he was full of positives.
“Has he been everything I expected? Absolutely. From the first second he was brilliant,
“It is easier for a centre-half coming in and playing, the adjustment to the rest of the team is not that massive. It is much more difficult for a midfielder because there’s more to do and you don’t see the situations that clear.
“But he has been brilliant since he has been with us. I knew long before he signed the contract that he would be outstanding as a player. The mix of both [playing and leadership] makes him outstanding.”