Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has said the club would be “lost” without the youngsters who have stepped up and filled the void left by their injured stars.
The Premier League champions have suffered a lengthy casualty list this term with Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez potentially out for the rest of the season. The likes of Thiago, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Naby Keita, Alisson, Joel Matip, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jordan Henderson and James Milner have also spent time on the touchline, and Klopp looked to the club’s younger players to help fill the void.
Klopp is set to rotate his squad for Wednesday’s Champions League group stage match against FC Midtjylland in Denmark, and is likely to give the younger players a chance to impress from the outset, emphasising the role they’ve played in helping the team.
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“We had some problems injury-wise, we lost top, top, top class players to injuries and so it’s one door closed and another opens up,” Klopp said. “You still need the right kids to use the chance. All the boys did it really good.
“What Rhys Williams has done in the Champions League is exceptional, what Nate Phillips did when he played Premier League was exceptional. Neco [Williams] has played two really good games in a row. Curtis [Jones] plays like he’s played 10 years for us. Caoimhin [Kelleher] has had the chance to show his talent on the big stage and he’s used that opportunity.
“Without them we’d have been lost, to be honest. Thank God it worked out.”
Klopp said his Liverpool side are still desperate to win in Denmark, despite having the group sewn up, but admitted he is looking at their packed fixture schedule so is likely to shuffle his pack for Wednesday’s match.
The injured contingent of Milner, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Alisson are unlikely to be fit.