Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp feels he needs “miracles” to get a number of his injured players back sooner rather than later.

Midfielder Ryan Gravenberch was the latest to be ruled out – for at least two matches – after he was carried off on a stretcher in Sunday’s Carabao Cup final victory over Chelsea.

But Wataru Endo is also a doubt for Wednesday’s FA Cup visit of Championship high-flyers Southampton after he left Wembley on crutches and wearing a protective boot, which would take the number of first-teamers unavailable to 13.

And Klopp admitted veteran midfielder Thiago Alcantara – who has made one five-minute substitute appearance since April – may not play again for the club as his contract expires in the summer.

Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez and Dominik Szoboszlai are closest to returning, but they may not be risked in the cup.

“We need miracles with a few players,” Klopp said. “I don’t want to rule them out for too long.

“But it is touch and go with a lot of players who were not available for the final: Darwin, Mo, Dom – we have to see what they can do (on Tuesday).

“In an ideal world you’d think about these kind of things but we obviously don’t live in an ideal world so we will see when the players arrive and they get checked.

“When the players arrive and I can look in their eyes and see who might be ready then I will make the line-up.”

Klopp is likely to have to rely on a number of the younger players who made such an impression at Wembley, with 19-year-olds Bobby Clark, son of former Newcastle midfielder Lee, and James McConnell likely to start against Saints.

Although the pair have made just one start apiece in cup competitions this season, Klopp has total faith in their ability to step up in the team’s hour of need – although he urged fans to make allowances for them.

“First and foremost, they don’t have to show anything. Our boys played in youth teams and under-21s and only came up recently and trained with us: absolutely nil experience but a lot of talent and they showed that,” he added.

“If you play more of them (against Southampton) from the start and we have a look and think, ‘Hmm, they are not as good as I thought on Sunday’, that would be horrendous so there is absolutely no pressure.

“All what these boys have to do is to really enjoy what they are doing. They have to defend like men, otherwise they cannot play.

“I saw them doing that (on Sunday) and it obviously helped and it gave confidence and there are so many things you cannot buy. Usually you need years for getting these kind of experiences that they got in a flash.

“It’s possible and a few of them have to start, that is clear, and if they do they will do the job and we all have to help them with celebrating the right things and not moaning about the wrong things.”

Following the capture of a record-extending 10th League Cup on Sunday, Liverpool have made tentative moves regarding an end-of-season parade.

It is not something they would not usually do for a victory in that competition but they want to mark the end of Klopp’s nine-year reign this summer.

“That is the one part which is not so cool that it could be seen as that (a farewell to him)” he said. “I don’t think that makes sense.

“But besides that, I am a big supporter of trophy parades and if there is a parade I will be on the bus, no doubt about that.”

Liverpool’s injury crisis continues to deepen with forward Diogo Jota ruled out for “months”, while there is no return date pencilled in for midfielder Curtis Jones or goalkeeper Alisson Becker.

Jota and Jones were added to a list which now extends to nine senior players unavailable and is less than ideal with the Carabao Cup final against Chelsea to come on Sunday as the club continues to fight on four fronts.

“We have Diogo with a knee issue ruled out – it will obviously take months,” said manager Jurgen Klopp ahead of the midweek visit of Luton.

“Not available are Ali (Alisson), muscle injury – we don’t know how long it takes but it will take some time to come back – and Curtis with a bone/ligament issue is ruled out.

“Then we have the others where we think we will deal with it day by day. Longer term like Trent (Alexander-Arnold) and Dom (Dominik Szoboszlai) are on their way back but are not in team training yet so they are not available.”

Other players absent include midfielders Thiago Alcantara and Stefan Bajcetic and centre-back Joel Matip (ACL), while striker Darwin Nunez was replaced at half-time of Saturday’s win at Brentford as a precaution.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insisted Thiago Alcantara would play again this season but did not know whether fellow midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai would be fit for this month’s Carabao Cup final.

Thiago was injured after playing his first 10 minutes of the campaign in Sunday’s defeat at Arsenal, while Szoboszlai is sidelined after aggravating a hamstring problem which caused him to miss most of January.

With Mohamed Salah (hamstring) still potentially two weeks away from rejoining training, Ibrahima Konate suspended and flu affecting the squad – Joe Gomez did not train on Thursday – the German jokingly threatened to throw out of the room anyone who suggested the options he had at his disposal were a luxury.

“Two or three weeks ago we sat here and were talking about the luxury problem of lining up players: if anybody asks me that question again then I will kick them out of the room,” said Klopp ahead of Saturday’s visit of Burnley.

“We talk once about it, then a week later we have a completely different situation.

“Thiago is not cool. Everything looked absolutely fantastic in training and then it’s a muscle issue.

“We don’t know the extent yet but it’s really not good news for him, for us or everybody.

“In normal procedure it wouldn’t be a big story as he wouldn’t have been out a long time. It’s not a big injury, definitely not, but it’s something nobody needed.”

On Szoboszlai, Klopp added: “Dom is running outside at the moment but is not ready for tomorrow.

“It’s pretty much the same injury as he had before, obviously it’s really not good that he got that again.

“We are fighting for days, if you want. Is it Brentford? Is it the final (against Chelsea on February 25) or is it after the final? I don’t know at the moment.

“Mo is going in the right direction. We hope – but we don’t know – that he can be a part of training next week. If you ask him, it’s next week.”

After the defeat at Arsenal, only their second loss this season, Klopp said he had no problems in lifting his players for the visit of next-bottom Burnley in front of the ground’s biggest attendance of 60,000 as all but a small part of the refurbished Anfield Road stand was now open.

However, he stressed they had to ignore the visitors’ form which has left them seven points from Premier League safety.

“From the outside world it is probably a proper banana skin. For a sportsperson it is probably not as it is an opponent we respect a lot,” he added.

“The first thing we should forget is where Burnley is in the table as that creates a potential banana skin – it’s just a game.”

As a player Vincent Kompany never won at Anfield in eight visits with Manchester City but played a pivotal role in preventing Liverpool winning the title in 2018-19 with a brilliant 25-yarder against Leicester which edged them a point ahead of Klopp’s side heading into the final game.

“I forgave him for that a long time (ago). If there are players I should hate, Arjen Robben is one of them,” said Klopp, referring to the then Bayern Munich winger’s 89th-minute winner against his Borussia Dortmund side in the 2013 Champions League final.

“I believe there are other situations in that season that were more influential than when Vincent Kompany scores that goal – and when I think about that situation I still think (James) Maddison should have blocked the shot.

“Vincent just tried to get rid of the ball and it ended up in the goal. Not that it’s not important but yes, I forgave long ago.”

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is not planning to buy a centre-back to cover Joel Matip’s expected absence for the rest of the season but admits the nature of the Premier League means all clubs are “only two injuries away from a real problem”.

Matip’s anterior cruciate ligament injury means Klopp now has five senior players unavailable – Diogo Jota, Andy Robertson, Thiago Alcantara and Stefan Bajcetic – with midfielder Alexis Mac Allister doubtful for the weekend trip to Crystal Palace after sustaining a problem in the midweek win over Sheffield United.

In central defence he has Virgil van Dijk, Ibrahima Konate – who has had two spells on the sidelines already this season – Joe Gomez and 20-year-old Jarell Quansah and he believes that will be enough to sustain them providing there are no further setbacks.

Klopp said rival clubs would not be leaving a top-class centre-back “under the Christmas tree for us” so he would likely manage with what he has.

“Everyone talks about us needing another player but they all cost money and they must be the right player,” said Klopp.

“You tell me a club who wants to sell a top centre-half. Not a centre-half but a top centre-half.

“For four or five days we’ve known Joel will be out for a long time and that’s really bad for us but we still have four centre-halves and that’s absolutely alright.

“If we had a fifth centre-half in beforehand it is a completely different team dynamic: when one is not involved, we don’t see steps with him, so it was like it was and it was perfect.

“Is it now perfect? I would say it is as long as we can go with those four, yes. If not then it would be a bit more tricky with the amount of games coming up.

“But it was never wonderland where you bring in a world-class centre-half until the other one is fit again.

“As long as other clubs don’t put them under the Christmas tree for us and say ‘Take it as long as you need it’ I don’t think so (it is likely to buy a player) to be honest.”

No timescale has been put on Matip’s return but with his contract due to expire in the summer, Klopp expects the club to look after the 32-year-old and offer a new deal.

“I would say so but it’s not my decision in the end,” he added.

“I am pretty sure the club will show their class and am pretty sure the club told Joel already that whatever happens as long as he is injured everything is fine.”

Goalkeeper Alisson Becker’s return to training ahead of schedule after a hamstring injury – he was not expected back until the visit of Manchester United next weekend – gives him a chance of playing at Selhurst Park and would be timely for a defence now missing 50 percent of its first-choice players with Robertson’s dislocated shoulder sidelining him since October.

With the changes which have taken place in the backline, the return to form of captain Van Dijk is even more important.

“It always was and always will be. Virg is the best defender in the world. Did he have lesser good spells? Yes. If you showed me one who never had I’d be really happy to meet him,” said Klopp.

“When we look in the back in the past (we think) Rio Ferdinand, Jaap Stam, Sami Hyypia were good all the time and always perfect. No-one was and no-one will be. Virg in this shape is super-important.”

Liverpool signed Spain midfielder Thiago Alcantara from European champions Bayern Munich on this day in 2020.

The Spain international was in the last year of his deal with the Bundesliga club and arrived at Anfield for an initial fee of £20million.

Thiago’s signing had been anticipated by supporters for some time and he went straight into the squad to face Chelsea, playing 45 minutes in a 2-0 win.

Thiago told the club’s website: “I think it’s an amazing feeling.

“I was waiting for this moment for a long time and I am very, very happy to be here.

“When the years are passing, you are trying to win as much as you can – and when you win, you want to win more.

“I think this club describes what I am as well. I want to achieve all of the goals, win as many trophies as possible.

“It also (has) this kind of family (feeling) that I need because we (like to) have a very close relationship with the club and I think I will feel this, I will have this feeling, with this club as well.”

Thiago, who played in Liverpool’s FA Cup final success in 2022, has made 97 appearances in his injury-hit three years at Anfield.

What the papers say

Barcelona are reportedly considering making a move for Thiago Alcantara. The Daily Mail, citing Spanish outlet Sport, says the Spanish giants are eager to reunite with the Liverpool midfielder, with club bosses at Anfield believed to be willing to listen to offers for the 32-year-old. Alcantara came up through Barcelona’s youth system and made 68 appearances for the first team.

The Mail also reports that Saudi Arabian club Al-Ittihad are preparing a bid for Reds midfielder Fabinho. Via The Athletic, the paper says the offer would be worth £40million, with any decision on a potential transfer likely to happen quickly.

Meanwhile, Liverpool may be in the market for Southampton midfielder Romeo Lavia. According to the Daily Mirror, manager Jurgen Klopp is leading the charge for the 19-year-old, who has also attracted interest from Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea.

And the Daily Mail says Aston Villa are circling a bid for 22-year-old Nottingham Forest forward Brennan Johnson.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Riyad Mahrez: The Athletic reports Saudi Arabian club Al Ahli are preparing a £30m offer for the Manchester City winger.

Moussa Diaby: Aston Villa have made a formal approach for the Bayer Leverkusen winger, says Sky Sports Germany.

Liverpool are close to welcoming back Thiago Alcantara and Luis Diaz from injury, but manager Jurgen Klopp will remain "calm" when selecting his side to face Arsenal.

The Reds host Premier League leaders Arsenal at Anfield on Sunday desperately attempting to keep their season alive after collecting one point from their past three games.

Tuesday's 0-0 draw at Chelsea ended a two-game losing run, but it leaves Liverpool 10 points adrift of Newcastle United and Manchester United in third and fourth respectively.

Klopp surprisingly made six changes for the trip to Stamford Bridge, with Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andy Robertson, Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk dropping out.

Van Dijk's absence was put down to illness, which Klopp confirmed at Friday's press conference he has now recovered from, while two other key men are now back in training.

Diaz has not played for Liverpool since the reverse fixture with Arsenal in October, while Thiago is further ahead in his recovery after spending two months out with a hip injury.

"Virgil is back in training. Luis and Thiago are training," Klopp told reporters. "The plan with Luis is he will be available 100 per cent for Leeds [a week on Monday]. 

"It was a long injury, so we will have to be careful. We will probably not involve him on Sunday. Thiago is slightly different. He's trained three times and might be available."

Asked if those left out against Chelsea are in contention to start against Arsenal, Klopp said: "We've had one proper [training] session since then.

"The boys haven't shown me they don't want to play. This is not the situation we are in. I have to make decisions about the team based on what I have seen in training.

"That opens the door for everybody. I cannot constantly ask for something I didn't get. I am always really calm in this moment. In the end, we will see what the outcome is."

 

While Liverpool have struggled for consistency, they have won five of their past six matches at Anfield, drawing the other, including the last three by an 11-0 aggregate scoreline.

Indeed, the Reds have not conceded a goal on home soil in seven hours and 26 minutes of league football stretching back to December.

"Anfield is not the only thing we should rely on, but it is no secret that the combination of our people, the ground and the boys is pretty good," Klopp said. 

"That is what we have to throw in, but not rely on it. I have a very good feeling we can [beat Arsenal]."

Arsenal are 29 points better off than Liverpool, having played a game more, and are seeking their first league double in this fixture since the 2009-10 campaign.

However, Liverpool have won their past six home Premier League games against Arsenal, scoring at least three times in each game (22 goals in total).

Klopp has been impressed by the work of opposite number Mikel Arteta, but he remains hopeful his side can put on a show for their supporters at Anfield on Sunday.

"I know people ask for more time for managers, and I think Mikel deserved every minute when it wasn't going well, because they are there now," Klopp said.

"Arsenal made good transfers and are now pretty stable. They brought in super important players but not too many.

"Mikel has been building for a few years now and the outcome is pretty impressive. I don't know exactly what you can say about us at the moment, so that shows the situation. 

"It's still Anfield, we're at home, and we must show a reaction, an improvement. We have to help the boys with different things. In a home game, the crowd can be a massive boost."

Klopp is looking to win seven home league games in a row against an opponent for the first time since doing so against Werder Bremen with Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga.

To say this season isn't going according to plan for either Liverpool or Everton would be an understatement.

Liverpool have taken seven points from their six matches back since the World Cup break; Everton are on four from the same number of games.

The Reds could be as low as 11th by the time Monday's meeting between the Merseyside rivals takes place at Anfield.

Jurgen Klopp's team have looked a shadow of their former selves. Even in their poor title defence in the 2020-21 campaign, which included a 2-0 home defeat to Everton, they never seemed so unlikely to compete not only for the top honour, but Champions League qualification.

This time last year, Liverpool were in contention for an unprecedented quadruple; they would go on to triumph in the EFL Cup and FA Cup, though fell just short in the Premier League and lost 1-0 to Real Madrid in the Champions League final.

After selling Sadio Mane to Bayern Munich but bringing in Darwin Nunez and tying Mohamed Salah down to a new contract, Liverpool seemed set for another title push after beating Manchester City in the Community Shield.

Yet it has all gone downhill from there. They are out of both domestic cups and have no chance in the league, with their tally of seven defeats in the top tier closing in on their worst tally in Klopp's full seasons in charge (nine – 2020-21).

 

Everton, on the other hand, are mired in another relegation battle, with yet another manager in place. Sean Dyche arrived last month, following Frank Lampard's dismissal after less than a year in charge.

Dyche started in style at Goodison Park, however, guiding Everton to their first win since October by beating league leaders Arsenal 1-0.

That victory has not lifted Everton outside of the relegation zone, though it injected some optimism into the team and fanbase ahead of the short trip across Stanley Park.

The cornerstone of Everton's win over Arsenal was Dyche's midfield trio, while that area of the pitch is a clear issue for Klopp. It might just be where this match is won or lost.

Liverpool found lacking

It was easy to be impressed when Liverpool announced they had struck a deal with PSV to sign Cody Gakpo, before the January transfer window had even started.

Gakpo had starred for the Netherlands at the World Cup and was taking the Eredivisie by storm, having scored 21 goals and set up a further 25 since the start of last season up until his switch to Anfield. But he has yet to score or assist in six matches, creating only two chances across 497 minutes of action.

While Liverpool will be confident Gakpo will come good, the sensibility of signing another forward for big money when their midfield needs are so glaring could be called into question.

The Reds are reportedly keen to sign Jude Bellingham at the end of the season, and the Borussia Dortmund sensation might well be transformative. However, Liverpool needed reinforcements now, not in six months' time.

 

Fabinho's form has been erratic, and it feels as though the 29-year-old might well have passed his peak. The Brazil international is recording his lowest per-90 totals for duels (8.5), duels won (4.2), duel success rate (48.9), forward passes (14.8), attempted passes (59.7) and tackle success percentage (52.1) since he joined in 2018. On the flip side, he is giving away 1.7 fouls per 90, his highest tally in a Liverpool shirt.

He was fortunate to escape a red card in the FA Cup defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion on January 28 and then missed last week's defeat to Wolves through illness.

Stefan Bajcetic started in Fabinho's place against Wolves and has looked bright when called on, though at 18 cannot be expected to perform consistently week in, week out.

Thiago Alcantara came to Liverpool as one of the world's best midfield maestros, but injuries have limited him to just 93 appearances and 71 starts.

Indeed, Thiago has not lived up to the form he showed at Bayern Munich, and while he creates a scoring chance every game on average, he has only directly contributed to nine goals.

To sum up his frustrations, Thiago is a doubt for Monday's match due to a hip issue.

Jordan Henderson works as hard as ever, but at the age of 32 cannot be relied on to play 90 minutes up to three times a week. Naby Keita, on the other hand, has never really lived up to his price tag.

Harvey Elliott has solidified himself as a regular, playing 1,131 top-flight minutes, and he leads the way for open-play shot-creating actions when it comes to Liverpool's midfielders (68).

Liverpool's midfield has been the bedrock of so much success, but it's in need of a revamp.

 

Building blocks for Dyche

Having utilised a 4-4-2 for much of his time at Burnley, Dyche sprung something of a surprise in his first match in charge of Everton by playing a three-man midfield.

Yet this was not the awkward, disorganised 4-3-3 that Lampard had attempted to force into place in his latter days as Everton boss, but rather a solid, robust 4-5-1 that, off the ball at least, morphed into the two, solid banks of four that Dyche is renowned for.

Abdoulaye Doucoure had fallen out of favour under Lampard but was back in against the Gunners for his first league start since August, and turned in one of his best Everton displays.

Only Gueye (10) won possession more times than Doucoure (nine) for Everton, while the former Watford midfielder's tally of 27 attempted passes ranked third for the Toffees. He also made two interceptions (a team high alongside James Tarkowski and Amadou Onana) and won his only attempted tackle.

No Everton outfielder created more final third entries (seven), while Doucoure also played a key role in limiting Oleksandr Zinchenko's impact. The Ukrainian had a game-leading 121 touches though created only one chance.

On the opposite side of Gueye, Onana delivered another display that hinted at his immense potential.

While Everton have floundered in recent months, Onana seems to have settled into English football. He led the team in touches (47), tackles (four) and tackles won (two), and only Dominic Calvert-Lewin (nine) won more duels for the Toffees than the Belgium international (eight).

 

Dyche handed Onana the responsibility to press, and he won possession twice in Arsenal's defensive third. His recoveries tally finished at eight, including a well-timed intervention that resulted in the 21-year-old teeing up a fantastic chance for Calvert-Lewin.

Everton's new manager noted in his post-game press conference that Onana still had plenty to learn, but the signs are promising.

Gueye, meanwhile, thrived in his best role in front of the defence. Too often under Lampard, the 33-year-old was losing the ball in dangerous areas, but against the Gunners he completed all 25 of his passes.

One swallow does not make a summer, of course, and Everton have a lot of work to do to drag themselves out of danger. 

Everton are likely to lack Calvert-Lewin due to injury, whereas Liverpool still have a star-studded forward line to choose from. If Klopp's men can get a foothold in the middle of the pitch, another derby win should be theirs.

Indeed, given Everton have only won one of their last 22 league visits to Anfield, Liverpool still have to be considered huge favourites.

However, if Dyche can get his midfield to perform as they did against Arsenal, then Everton might just fancy their chances of getting something.

Jurgen Klopp bemoaned injury problems for hampering Liverpool's consistency as the Reds manager confirmed Thiago Alcantara will miss Wednesday's visit to Ajax.

Liverpool have underwhelmed this season thus far, sitting eighth in the Premier League and 12 points behind leaders Arsenal after falling to a disappointing 1-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest.

However, despite a 4-1 hammering at Napoli on matchday one in the Champions League, the Reds could still progress to the knockout stages with a game to spare if they avoid defeat at Ajax.

Liverpool will head to Amsterdam without Thiago to call upon, though, as injury issues continue to frustrate Klopp.

"Thiago is still out, I don't know if he will be fit for the weekend. [Ibrahima] Konate is here and ready to play minutes, I would say," Klopp said.

"When you want it really clicking you need consistency in the line-up and we haven't had that.

"When you have [lots of injuries], players who should be rested have to play and players come back from injuries too early. That's tricky. That situation isn't sorted overnight.

"We've played really well a couple of times but it's not as if we have been without problems. We win a game then lose two players and another who can't play for more than 20 minutes. Tomorrow we have enough players with us."

Liverpool will welcome back Darwin Nunez for the trip to Ajax, though, as Klopp aims to progress to the Champions League stages with the Reds for a record sixth straight time.

Ajax must win to keep their hopes alive in the competition, but they have lost their last three Champions League matches against Liverpool, only enduring longer such runs against Juventus (four) and Real Madrid (seven).

Klopp's side battled past Alfred Schreuder's team in the reverse fixture, courtesy of a late Joel Matip winner, and the German acknowledged the difficult challenge that awaits at Johan Cruijff Arena.

"We played a good home game against Ajax. That's a bit like our season – we play really good then the opponent scores with their first chance," Klopp added.

"Ajax are a dangerous opponent and that's the team we play for. It would be great [to qualify early] but I can't sit here and tell you how I feel because we haven't done it.

"After our start in the group stage, people didn't think it was likely to happen. But now it can happen, and we have to close the group."

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp expects Darwin Nunez to face Ajax in midweek after missing Saturday's shock defeat to Nottingham Forest with a hamstring injury.

Uruguay striker Nunez scored the only goal of the game on Wednesday as the Reds beat West Ham, building on a lively – albeit chaotic – cameo against Manchester City last weekend.

But he was withdrawn in the second half with a hamstring strain and that prevented him from featuring at the City Ground, his absence a blow as the Reds lacked presence in attack.

Forest won 1-0 thanks to a goal from former Liverpool youngster Taiwo Awoniyi, and Klopp will be desperate for his side to get the defeat out of their system as quickly as possible.

Liverpool can secure their progression to the last 16 of the Champions League when they face Ajax in Amsterdam on Wednesday and Klopp expects his big-money signing to return.

"Darwin should be back, this game was just too early," Klopp said.

"I think another day recovery would have helped him, but we played today. At least that is my knowledge in the moment.

"Ibou [Ibrahima Konate] will train from [Sunday] on and Naby [Keita] as well, but Naby is far off so he starts training now after a long period."

Liverpool's preparations for Saturday's match were also hampered by Thiago Alcantara falling ill in the 24 hours before kick-off and Klopp is unsure if he will face Ajax.

"Thiago got a bad ear infection last night and there was no chance for him to do anything. We drove him home," Klopp added.

"The decision was [made] in the moment he woke up and had the pain. The doctor went there and they tried everything, went to the hospital and stuff like this. It didn't work out."

That proved to be a spanner in the works for the Reds, with Klopp acknowledging the Spain international's absence left his side lacking creativity in midfield.

But he praised Curtis Jones for filling in, as he played in a deeper, unfamiliar role.

"We were obviously lacking up front a bit runs in behind, we were lacking vision in the centre, that's all true," he continued.

"I thought Curtis did really well but is not used to the position. He can play that definitely, but he was not even in my thoughts to start, so that all happened last night. But he did really well.

"But that we then did not create that much, I am not concerned about that, I'm not surprised – that's things that can happen."

Xabi Alonso has described Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp as "special", and praised the "treasure" created by the German coach on Merseyside.

Liverpool have made a slow start to the 2022-23 campaign, winning just two of their six Premier League games so far (D3, L1) before suffering a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Napoli in their opening Champions League group stage game last week in Italy.

The former Borussia Dortmund head coach has presided over a period of success at Anfield since arriving in 2015, though, winning the Champions League, Premier League, UEFA Super Cup, FIFA Club World Cup, EFL Cup and FA Cup.

Alonso – who played for the Reds from 2004 to 2009 – said he always felt Klopp would be a success at Liverpool, stating in an interview with the club's website: "I loved my games against his Dortmund when I was in [Real] Madrid and Bayern [Munich]. You could see that he was special.

"I remember when he signed for Liverpool, straight away I had the feeling that he was the man. We were playing Liverpool-Mainz at Mainz [pre-season friendly in 2006] and in the programme he mentioned that his favourite stadium was Anfield. That was on my mind.

"When he signed for Liverpool, I [thought], 'He's always had that in his mind and he's the right man for the job.' After that, what he's done, it's a treasure what we have in Liverpool, what Jurgen built and the inspiration for the players, for the club, for the fans, for everyone."

After spells with Real Madrid and Bayern, Alonso retired from playing and moved into coaching, starting with a role with Madrid's youth setup, before becoming head coach of the B team at another former club, Real Sociedad.

He stepped down from the role at the end of last season, and is preparing himself for the "next thing".

"I want to visit, to keep learning and to keep being updated about the things that are being done," he said. 

"Use the time, not just to sit on the chair and do nothing. No, no, I want to use this time for myself to prepare better for the next thing. I don't know but I will have to choose what's best for me.

"[Coaching is] demanding but very rewarding as well. It's another role but my role was to help young players at Sociedad's academy. They did really well, we [were] promoted to the second division in Spain – it was a great achievement.

"I have enjoyed it. You play games in another way. It takes longer, the preparation, but you feel really into the game. 

"As Johan Cruyff said, the best thing about football is playing football, and the second one is coaching football."

The former Spain midfielder also spoke about compatriot and former Bayern team-mate Thiago Alcantara, who joined Liverpool in 2020.

Thiago could make only his second start of the season on Tuesday when Liverpool face Ajax in the Champions League, having recovered from a hamstring injury sustained in the opening day draw at Fulham last month.

"You could see that he's a different player," Alonso said. "He's a different talent because he's competitive but at the same time he has those magic Brazilian actions that are not that European.

"He's competitive but he can do different things. He was a great player at Bayern and he continues being consistent and being a great player at Liverpool.

"We talked a lot [in 2020, prior to his move] because he was thinking about the option.

"I said, 'Thiago, you love football, you're in a great club, you're in Bayern and you've achieved great things, but Liverpool is pure football and you're going to enjoy it as much as you have done. If you feel it's the right moment for a new chapter, you won't get better places than Liverpool'."

Jurgen Klopp hinted Liverpool are unlikely to make any further signings before the transfer window closes, as he ruled out Naby Keita leaving Anfield.

Liverpool have faced calls to dip into the transfer market after drawing their first two games of the Premier League campaign and suffering a spate of injuries in midfield.

The Reds were without Thiago Alcantara, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Curtis Jones for their 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace last week, as youngster Harvey Elliott joined Fabinho and James Milner in Klopp's line-up.

Liverpool have added striker Darwin Nunez, creative midfielder Fabio Carvalho and young full-back Calvin Ramsay to their squad since winning both domestic cups last season.

Asked whether he was content with Liverpool's midfield options ahead of Monday's trip to Manchester United, Klopp said: "Yes, when they are all fit, 100 per cent, but even then we always look to strengthen.

"We always did that, but it must be the right player and if the right player is not available in this moment, then we deal with what we have rather than sign not the right player.

"This situation did not change. Now we have more injuries than we would have imagined. It would be cool to have a new midfielder in, of course. We don't know when the boys come back, stuff like that. Things change constantly.

"[But] there is another fact that I am not in charge of what we can spend. We get things told to us. Then we deal with it. That is always the same, never different.

"I always have to accept that and always did. It makes no sense to worry about something you cannot change. That is a waste of energy, a waste of positivity.

"I love this group and not because they are so good looking. No, because they are incredible characters. If the facts are the facts, accept them and go from there."

Dynamic Guinea international Keita was tipped to make a big impact when he joined Liverpool from RB Leipzig in 2018, but he has been limited to just 46 Premier League starts during an injury-hit spell on Merseyside.

Fellow midfielders Jordan Henderson (120), Fabinho (117), Georginio Wijnaldum (110) and Milner (105) have all made considerably more league appearances for Liverpool than Keita (76) since his arrival, with Wijnaldum doing so despite departing for Paris Saint-Germain last year.

Although Keita has struggled to maintain fitness during his Liverpool career, Klopp is refusing to countenance his possible departure, particularly given the absence of a replacement.

"Selling Naby now and not replacing him? No, that is not possible. Of course not. It is not the plan," Klopp said.

"We are not dumb that we think a player can go and we don't replace him. No, there's no chance. Naby will not go, but if he would – which he will not do – there must be a replacement, of course."

Liverpool are bidding to avoid going without a victory through their first three matches of a Premier League season for the first time since 2012-13 when they face United on Monday, and could also win on three consecutive league trips to Old Trafford for the first time in their history.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has expressed doubt that the club will sign a new midfielder before the close of the transfer window, though he hinted it was something he had previously considered.

The Reds' push for the Premier League title got off to a slow start on the opening weekend as they had to come from behind twice in a 2-2 draw against newly promoted Fulham.

Thiago Alcantara limped off during that game, joining fellow midfielders Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on the sidelines – though Klopp revealed that Keita will return for Monday's trip to Crystal Palace.

With options limited, recent reports have linked Liverpool with Sporting midfielder Matheus Nunes, while the Reds have been attributed with long-term interest in Borussia Dortmund's Jude Bellingham.

Further additions in the market are unlikely, however, with Klopp stating that "conversations" have already taken place and that the "right solutions" are not available.

"I'm happy with the size and quality of my squad, but we have injuries. It's a question of how long the players will be out, there are different solutions for it," he told a news conference.

"One of them is the transfer market, but it only makes sense if you can bring in the right player, not just a player, if it was the right player it would make sense.

"But we actually would have done that from the first day of the transfer window, from the first day of the pre-season, in some cases it's just not possible and in other cases it's extremely difficult. If something is not possible, why should I consider it?

"All of the other solutions are inside the squad. At the moment, we have too many injuries, that's clear. We have a couple of boys coming back, Naby will be back for Monday and Kostas [Tsimikas] will train today for the first time, so he might be back as well.

"That's the situation. I understand the questions but if there were the right solutions, we would have done it already. We're not stubborn or whatever, it's just that it's not the right thing to do.

"People told me at the start of the season that we lack a specific kind of midfielder, I didn't understand that because if you search for specific things, then you always lack something. 

"If there was the right player and if there was the opportunity, then we would have done it, we would do it, but I don't see it because we've had a lot of conversations already and it doesn't look like something that will happen."

Jurgen Klopp has ruled out any panic buying from Liverpool after Thiago Alcantara suffered a hamstring injury in the 2-2 draw at Fulham.

Thiago had to be withdrawn early in the second half of the Reds' first game of the Premier League season at Craven Cottage on Saturday.

Liverpool face an anxious wait to discover the extent of the damage the Spain international sustained in London.

Klopp has already lost fellow midfielders Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (hamstring) and Curtis Jones (calf) to injury, while Naby Keita missed the clash with the Cottagers due to illness.

The Reds boss says there will be no knee-jerk reaction if Thiago is facing a lengthy absence.

He told reporters: "I know what will now come up, it's clear. We said we don't need a midfielder because we have enough – and we actually have enough, but the problem now is we get punished for something that is not our responsibility really because things like this can happen. 

"Nobody could image that Curtis gets the thing he gets; it is nothing serious, but he is a young boy and it is a kind of stress reaction. Bodies are like this.

"Naby is only ill and he will now be back definitely next week again. Oxlade happened early and now with Thiago that is, of course, not good and we will see. 

"Look, a transfer must make sense now and in the long-term; we have midfielders, we have still enough midfielders. It is not that we lack midfielders, but it's just some of them are injured. 

"This is not a good situation, I don't like it at all, but we have to see how we react on that – but for sure not panicking."

Liverpool twice came from behind to salvage a point against Marco Silva's promoted side, Darwin Nunez coming off the bench to score on his Premier League debut and laying on a goal for Mohamed Salah following an Aleksandar Mitrovic double.

Spain will be without Thiago Alcantara for their upcoming Nations League games.

The midfielder was an injury concern for Liverpool ahead of the Champions League final on Saturday, but he was declared fit to start and played 77 minutes of the 1-0 defeat to Real Madrid before being replaced by Roberto Firmino.

However, the former Bayern Munich and Barcelona midfielder will be unable to play for his national team in this month's matches against Portugal, the Czech Republic and Switzerland.

That is due to what a muscular injury to the back of his right leg.

Thiago will remain with the Spain camp until after Thursday's clash with Portugal in Seville.

Spain coach Luis Enrique will not be calling up a replacement for Thiago, who last started for his country in June 2021. He later made four appearances at the delayed Euro 2020 finals, all from the bench.

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