While some Liverpool fans will be looking at the fact the club have only completed one new transfer deal this summer and counting it a negative, manager Jürgen Klopp is focused on the players he didn’t have available for much of last season who are now coming back.
Fabinho has been signed, and that’s a big deal. So too is the arrival of Naby Keïta after a year’s delay. But just as important are the players back to full fitness after struggling with persistent injury issues last season. Or at least that’s how Liverpool’s manager sees things.
“It always feels a little bit like they are like a transfer as well,” Klopp noted during a break from this week’s pre-season preparations. “Joe Gomez was out for a long time, [and] he was out in a very decisive period in the season after a very good season which he played.
“It’s fantastic to have Joel Matip back, especially because Dejan is still at the World Cup. Clyney, he’s as well like a new addition to the squad. The boys coming back from loan, [too]. And now it’s ‘let’s go.’ It’s an intense time, but of course a very, very important time.”
Saying players returning from injury are like new signings may not be what every fan wants to hear, but with two new key players arriving in midfield—even if one was signed last summer—three of those who are returning from injury do seem to shore up a second area.
With Clyne fit, Klopp now has three highly capable players at right back—which should free him up to give Gomez time at centre half, where most expect him to end up as his career progresses. Add in Matip and Liverpool’s defensive depth starts to look downright enviable.
That really only leaves forward depth a question mark, and in that case at least that Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah, and Sadio Mané are all still away due to the World Cup should give Klopp a chance to look at youth and returning loan players to see where things stand.
“You know how the season is,” Klopp added. “We don’t have a lot of time to do proper training in the physical department over the season, so we have to set the basis now. That’s what we will do. So far, so good and how I said, let’s go.”