Jurgen Klopp drawing on Dortmund experience to cope with Liverpool defensive meltdown
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The transfer window is a possible solution to Liverpool’s injury nightmare but Jurgen Klopp knows that the cavalry tends to deliver salvation only when it’s too late.
Before any reinforcements can arrive to help out a beleaguered defence, the Reds have 11 games between now and December 31. That is one every 3.5 days.
Until the New Year the Liverpool manager must make do with what he has – but he’s proved many times that that is his speciality.
At Borussia Dortmund, where he faced a similar defensive meltdown, he conjured a partnership between young unknowns Mats Hummels and Neven Subotic, who went on to become the most famous pairing in the club’s history.
(Image: Liverpool FC via Getty Images)
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“I don’t want to compare situations but when I went to Dortmund in 2008, my two centre-halves were 19 and turned 20 that winter and we played with them all the time. Mats Hummels and Neven Subotic,” said Klopp.
“We have talent here. So we will see. Now everybody has a chance. What we do in January I have no idea.
“We use the boys we have and for the moment we are fine.”
A few seasons ago Klopp gambled on not signing a right-back as cover to Nathaniel Clyne and it paid off spectacularly as Trent Alexander-Arnold emerged as the best in his position.
He got the same results with Joe Gomez and, latterly, Curtis Jones – and Neco Williams is the latest off the Kop conveyor belt.
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It's been an extremely interesting start to the season for Jurgen Klopp's men.
They got their title defence off to a shaky start as they edged out a seven-goal thriller against Leeds, before going on to conceded seven in a hammering by Aston Villa.
Virgil van Dijk's season was ended by injury in the 2-2 draw at Everton, leaving the title favourites looking far less secure at the back – especially with Alisson's injury worries too.
But there's no slowing down in what is going to be a busy campaign – with Klopp ensuring his men continue at full pace as they bid for more title glory.
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At Dortmund, Klopp’s emphasis on youth helped them reel in the mighty Bayern Munich.
Now, heading into a clash with Leicester, youth will get its head again.
“You should see them in training. They can smell their chance,” Klopp said.
“They want to show they are ready. I’m really confident it will work out with the boys and then hopefully we can convince the rest of the world as well.”
Klopp could well give 23-year-old Nat Phillips, who made his Premier League debut earlier in the season, another chance but he also has 19-year-old Rhys Williams and 18-year-old Billy Koumetio in his first-team squad and both will get an opportunity in the coming weeks.
“There is no season when you don’t have injury problems,” Klopp said.
“In our situation it is slightly different as we have a lot of players in the same position seriously injured and that makes it more concentrated, but no one feels self-pity, we don’t feel sorry for ourselves.
“I cannot change these things. We have to deal with it. We can put out 11 players and we will fight for three points.”