The German has foreseen two players’ exits from the club come the end of the season, and will make one signing to replace them, as per reports
Liverpool have been locked in a two-way battle with holders Manchester City as they look to claim their maiden crown in the Premier League era. They pumped five past Watford on Wednesday night to maintain their one-point lead over Pep Guardiola & Co at the top of the table to finally signal a return to form. The Anfield club had been going through some patchy form over the past few weeks, drawing their previous two games against Manchester United and Bayern Munich 0-0.
Their marvelous attacking trident seem to have been hit by a bout of mid-season fatigue, but the manager does not have too much confidence in their back-ups, with Daniel Sturridge being a shadow of the player he once was, scoring just four times in 21 appearances, and Divock Origi not considered anywhere near good enough for a side chasing titles.
And Klopp expects the duo to make a beeline for the exit door, with the Liverpool Echo reporting that the former Dortmund gaffer will sign one striker to replace them. Red Bull Leipzig’s Timo Werner has been heavily linked with a move to Merseyside for a while now, but the Reds face stiff competition from Bayern.
Klopp did make it a point to praise his side for the progress they have made over recent seasons. He said: “Obviously a lot of Liverpool teams before us tried to be champion and it didn’t work out so it was always the manager or the team or other stuff like that. There is always a moment when, if we are not 25 points ahead, a season gets tricky. Always.
“Leicester had that. Chelsea had it. Only City last year didn’t really have it. Winning 5-0 against us with 10 men (when Sadio Mane was sent off at 1-0) changed the season for them. Apart from that it always happens. One generation has to break through, to make it happen, and then for the rest it will be easier. It would be nice if we could be that. The development of this team is unbelievable. Not that I praise myself or whatever, but it is unbelievable.”
If Sturridge and Origi do leave, Liverpool will be desperately short of quality back-ups in the forward department, with Dominic Solanke having just moved to Bournemouth in the winter window and no other striker seeming to be deemed good enough from within the academy or the existing squad. That means Klopp will have to loosen the purse strings in order to shop in the summer market for a striker who will not only give healthy competition to the existing ‘holy trio’ but also chip in with crucial goals and assists when and if needed, apart from adapting to the ethos and high pressing system that the German likes to cultivate in his players. So it would be smart to watch this space and see what the club does in case the unwanted duo are released.