The Reds manager admits a new centre-back would help his struggling side but the champions are unlikely to make any signings this month
Jurgen Klopp admitted that a new centre-back would benefit Liverpool, but says the Reds’ recent slide has changed nothing in terms of the club’s ability to act in the transfer market.
The reigning champions are in their worst run of form in four years, without a win in five Premier League matches and having failed to score in their last four.
On Thursday, they lost their proud 68-game unbeaten home record, losing 1-0 to Burnley on a miserable night at Anfield. Title favourites a month ago, they now sit fourth, and could fall behind both Tottenham and Everton should those two teams win their games in hand.
With Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez sidelined with long-term knee injuries, it was expected that Liverpool would bring in a central defender in the January window to alleviate some of the pressure.
But with little more than a week remaining until deadline day, it seems likely there will be no such movement, with Klopp explaining the situation to reporters on Friday ahead of his side’s FA Cup fourth-round tie at Manchester United.
Asked if the last few weeks had changed anything in terms of the club’s thinking around transfers, he replied: “No, nothing changed. Sorry, short answer!”
Later, he would elaborate on the theme.
“I am not a five-year-old kid any more and if I don’t get what I want I start crying,” he said. “Most of the time in my life I didn’t get what I want, to be honest!
“I am responsible for a big part of this club but there are people who are responsible for the whole thing, and I cannot make their decisions. I know they are with us, I know they want to support us, and they do.
“Now we talk about a centre-half. Yes, it would help, 100 per cent. Would we score more goals with a centre-half? I am not sure. Would it give us more stability in specific moments? Probably, yes.
“But it’s not about that. We never, ever spoke in the transfer window like this because that would be an excuse and we don’t need that. What we have to do is improve the football in the decisive areas with this squad, and not sit here and be disappointed or frustrated with some decisions. I’m not.
“Of course we know what we would do in an ideal world but the world is not ideal and not just for us. We have to deal with the situation.
“A centre-half last night would not have won us the game so we don’t have to talk about that. I know it is a good thing for you to talk about but for me it is just not that important.
“Everything is on the table, everything is clear, and we just have to work on the football stuff.”
Klopp also dismissed the idea that he was facing his biggest challenge since arriving on Merseyside in 2015.
“Everything we did in the last five years felt like a challenge, to be honest,” he said. “But yes, there is now a different challenge.
“It is not like we win the league and I put my feet on the desk and smoke a cigar and think ‘well done, from now on everything will work without me doing anything’.
“It’s not a situation we want, and if we are not happy with a situation then we should work, and that is what we will do.
“I believe 100% we can change it with this squad. We don’t say ‘if we don’t get this or that we can’t perform’ or whatever. We are very self-critical. We know what we did, and we know we have to change it as well.”