Klopp satisfied with Liverpool’s central defensive options for Arsenal visit
Gomez in contention to return to starting line-up for Arsenal’s visit to Anfield
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp celebrates victory over Chelsea with debutant Spanish midfielder Thiago Alcantara at Stamford Bridge. Photograph: Michael Regan/AFP via Getty Images
Premier League: Liverpool v Arsenal, Anfield, 8.0pm, Sky Sports Premier League
Jürgen Klopp has said he is satisfied with Liverpool’s central defensive options and will not be active in the final week of the transfer window unless a fresh injury problem arises.
The manager had to deploy Fabinho at centre-half at Chelsea last week and gave the 19-year-old Rhys Williams his debut against Lincoln on Thursday with both Joe Gomez and Joël Matip injured.
Gomez is in contention for the match against Arsenal having resumed training on Friday but, given his and Matip’s injury records, plus the summer departure of Dejan Lovren, the Premier League champions could be stretched in that department this season.
Klopp has been impressed by the pre-season form of the 17-year-old Billy Koumetio, however, and he believes Liverpool are well covered in central defence and have no need to spend again in the final days of the window.
“I don’t expect a lot to happen to be honest. You think you are well covered, we have three absolutely top centre-halves, young players in line, Fabinho at the back if you want and then all of a sudden three players are out for a few days and that is not nice. But you cannot solve that in the transfer market. That is just not possible,” said the manager.
“We will not even try if nothing more serious happens. I hope we don’t have to try that. If the situation stays like it is at the moment then there will be nothing. All the rest, we are in quite a good place squad-wise and what the outgoings will be I have no idea at the moment. We will see.”
Thiago Alcântara is a doubt for the game after missing training, as is Alisson, but if the Spain international recovers he could make his full debut against Arsenal after an impressive substitute display at Stamford Bridge, although Klopp admits playing against 10 men gave the new signing an ideal platform to showcase his talent.
“The Chelsea game was the perfect game for him because it was not about getting used to each other,” Klopp said. “He could play in the centre and play from one side to the other and chip the ball behind, stuff like this.
“These are things which are easy for him but it will not always be like this. Thiago knows that. We have to fine-tune things and that will take time. There will be some games where we may say we are not there yet. That is the reason why he did not play at Lincoln. We wanted to use Friday’s session to take a step in the right direction in training and work on some things with him.”