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Saturday 19 October 2019

Klopp won't buy in January despite injury worries

James Milner
James Milner

Jurgen Klopp is unlikely to buy in the January transfer window after insisting that Liverpool's current defensive problems are not a crisis.

Right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold (foot) and Joel Matip (broken collarbone) have joined Joe Gomez (fractured leg) on the injury list.

Matip and Gomez are likely to be sidelined for about five weeks, taking Klopp to the middle of next month.

Midfielder James Milner played at right-back recently and Nathaniel Clyne has returned to fitness - although just 90 minutes of action in one EFL Cup game this season and six appearances in the last season and a half means he will have to be managed carefully.

Klopp admits he may have to get creative but that it is unlikely to involve spending in January.

He said: "A crisis is if you feel it is a crisis. With Trent, it's not as serious as with the other two boys, but of course it's not top class news.

"Our situation is like this: if you would have asked me two weeks before if we were doing anything in the transfer window I would have said probably not.

"Now we have two centre-halves left. Will we do something? Not really likely because they are not out for long."

Clyne's back problems have restricted him to just five appearances in the final two months of last season and his injury issues have continued into the current campaign but his return to full training is timely.

"Is he ready for 90 minutes? I don't know. But is he ready? Yes," added Klopp.

"We have other options so we will not push Clyney after not the longest spell of training.

"As long as we have options everything is fine. If we don't have the obvious option then we need to be creative."

Liverpool are top of the Premier League but could be deposed by Manchester City by the time they face Manchester United tomorrow.

Despite sixth-placed United being 16 points behind, Klopp knows better than to write off Jose Mourinho's side.

"I was never interested in the points of Manchester United, and I am not today," he said. "I am aware of the criticism and stuff but when we analyse them, there is a lot of quality.

"There is speed, technique, physical strength, pretty much everything. They have De Gea in goal, unbelievable.

''They have strikers they can switch between Marcus Rashford, Romelu Lukaku, Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial. Unbelievable quality.

"We don't judge the points they have, we judge their quality and we prepare for that."

Klopp was asked if he thought United were better with or without £89million Paul Pogba

"Pogba is a world-class player. He's a Man United player so I think we should prepare for him."

The Liverpool boss was also asked whether he would like to manage Pogba after several pundits suggested he or Pep Guardiola would get more out of the 25-year-old.

"You know better than I, what happens if I give an answer to that question, so no answer!" he said.

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