The current Liverpool squad has problems. This is hardly breaking news. A cursory glance at the league table (NSWF) will show as much.
However, for a team that seems to be screaming out for midfield reinforcements, Liverpool decided to bring in PSV striker Cody Gakpo. But as Klopp sees the game, the Reds are always best when defending from the front.
“His defending is outstanding,” Klopp told the club’s official website. “Now everyone will say, ‘OK we bought a striker and [you] talk about defending’ but the defending in this position is outstanding, the center position. That’s really what we need.”
Of course, you bring a striker on to score goals, something Gakpo hasn’t quite managed yet. In this regard, he fits right in with the rest of the squad. This is a fact that Klopp readily recognizes.
“He is good on the ball, you can see in his finishing he is a sensational finisher. His shooting from distance [is] outstanding, but in the games he is a bit in a rush and now in the moment not in the right position. It is an extreme strength of his and he has a long-term contract here and everybody will see that.
“I am completely happy. Of course, people say, ‘But he didn’t score...’ Coming in as a striker in our team in this moment, congratulations, and then getting judged because you don’t score, that’s really cool.
“Of course, internally it’s all fine, he’s fine, he’s a smart boy, he really wants to learn, a really good listener and, so, everything is fine with him.”
Klopp’s confidence that his players will come good is one of his best qualities.
And if any manager can get this sputtering shitheap of a plane that is the 2022-23 Liverpool squad off the ground, it’s him. Let’s hope he—and Gakpo—figure it out before the season is a complete waste.