Jürgen Klopp has denied being too loyal to underperforming players and insisted there will be changes at Liverpool this summer.
Liverpool are 10 points adrift of Champions League qualification after back-to-back Premier League defeats at Brighton and Brentford. They visit Wolves in an FA Cup replay on Tuesday, having been fortunate to avoid defeat in the third-round tie at Anfield.
Klopp admits a team that came close to winning a quadruple last season are misfiring and have been unable to surprise opponents recently. The downturn, he insists, is not due to players no longer listening to their manager or his faith in talents who are past their best.
“I am loyal, I think everyone should be loyal, but I am not too loyal,” the Liverpool manager said. “The problem is too complex. You have a good player who did a lot of good stuff in the past and then maybe, in your mind, you think: ‘That’s it for him now.’ If you can then go out and bring in another player to replace him then it makes sense from both sides to say: ‘Come on, it was a great time, see you later.’ If you cannot bring anybody in then you cannot take anyone out, that’s the situation.”
Naby Keïta, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, James Milner and Roberto Firmino are out of contract this summer, when Liverpool are expected to attempt to sign Jude Bellingham from Borussia Dortmund. Klopp confirmed there would be changes and that he would not be going anywhere.
“When I left Dortmund I said: ‘Something has to change here.’ It was a different situation there but in a way it’s similar – either I go, the manager position changes, or a lot of other things change. As far as I know, from what I hear, I will not go. So that means maybe there’s a point where we have to change other stuff. And we will see that. But it’s something for the future, like in the summer, but not now.
“We cannot even think about it right now. We have to play better football now. We cannot play and say: ‘These are problems but next season we don’t have them any more.’ That is really long away. Until then we stick together and we fight. If we lose, we lose, but in a way that we can accept and not: ‘How could that happen?’
“I said Brighton were exceptional but in some moments it was too easy for them. That is why I would like to go through to see them again [in the FA Cup fourth round] and make it more difficult.”