Despite much hand wringing about Liverpool’s squad depth over the summer and through the first few months of this season, the Reds currently have the deepest, most talented squad they’ve ever had during Jürgen Klopp’s reign.
The newest addition to that depth, winger Luis Díaz, has already proven to be a valuable asset, and Klopp spoke about the importance of adding Díaz to his already deep squad in his press conference after last night’s 1-0 win over West Ham.
“Again, it was necessary,” said Klopp. “We cannot rely on these boys and we have, on top of that, not to forget, Divock Origi and Taki Minamino. We had Shaqiri here, all brilliant players who helped us to win the things we won in the past. You need to bring in quality and fresh energy. That’s what we tried and it looks like it worked out.”
The impact of that depth can be seen in the fact that Liverpool are hopeful to make a run at the quadruple, which simply isn’t possible without a bench full of players who can make an impact.
“The boys have now really proper quality in depth, but we cannot play all competitions and go far in the competitions if we don’t have this depth, there is no chance,” admitted Klopp. “You can do it for a year when you are lucky with injuries, but I think we had years where Bobby [Roberto Firmino], Sadio [Mané] and Mo [Salah] played pretty much all the games, if I am right. Sometimes they came from the bench, but the next game they started again.”
While the focus lately has been on Díaz’s addition to the forward corps of Firmino, Mané, Salah, and Diogo Jota, Klopp is also really happy with the deep groups he has in the midfield and defense. It’s especially crucial during times when you’re playing twice nearly every week.
“In a week, especially like this - Sunday, Wednesday, Saturday, and Tuesday, when we play again against Inter [Milan] - there is no chance that you try to get through with the same line-up. It is the same situation in midfield.
“The last line, even there, that we have now Kostas [Tsimikas], who when he plays shows he is an incredible player, Millie [James Milner] can play at right-back and is doing that from time to time or Joe [Gomez] plays there, so that’s all really important.”
Liverpool played a fairly strong B squad in the FA Cup win over Norwich City on Wednesday, which afforded them the opportunity to give many of their first-choice XI some vital rest. There were then 8 changes to the XI to face West Ham yesterday. In the recent past, that much rotation would have required playing a much weaker side in the FA Cup. It’s a luxury afforded only by having quality depth.
“We just need energy in these different games like we needed it tonight. Can you imagine if we would have played this game after making no changes on Wednesday? There is no chance and that’s why it’s exactly what we had to do.”