Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is adamant he can solve his midfield issues from within his squad and will not be resorting to the transfer market.
A hamstring injury to key man Thiago Alcantara in last week’s opening match at Fulham could sideline the Spain international for up to six weeks, adding him to a list which also includes Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Curtis Jones.
But Klopp insists they have explored all their viable transfer opportunities and he will not sign a player just for the sake of bumping up their numbers.
“Thiago is good but the injury is not good. I read four to six weeks, I would prefer four,” Klopp said.
“I am happy with the strength, size and quality of my squad. We have injuries, that’s how it is. Now it is the question how long the players will be out and the different solutions for it. One of them – and there are plenty – is the transfer market but the transfer market only makes sense if you can bring in the right player, the right player – not a player.
“If we bring in the right player then it could make sense but we always would have done that from the first day of the transfer window, the first day of pre-season,” he said.
In reality Klopp is missing only one of his first-choice midfield in Thiago, and providing Fabinho and Jordan Henderson remain fit he only has to fill one gap. Naby Keita, who has been out with illness, is also back in contention and he gives Klopp the confidence to stick to his guns.
“If there was the right solution for us, we would have done it already. We are not stubborn and say, ‘No, no way, we don’t bring in anyone’. It is just the right thing to do,” he said.
Just 12 months ago Harvey Elliott, who this week signed a new five-year contract, started in midfield for three of Liverpool’s first four matches as Thiago was unavailable and only a fracture-dislocation of his left ankle ended his run as he was sidelined for five months.
He has made two substitute appearances so far and could be the player to fill the Thiago void.
“Everybody has the chance to make the next step in their development,” said Klopp.