Jurgen Klopp has been speaking very highly of Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain ahead of Liverpool’s game against Burnley on Saturday.
Both players started in the Reds’ 3-0 win over Norwich last weekend. While they didn’t light the game up, they both gave very good performances, especially from a defensive aspect.
With Jordan Henderson and Thiago set to return this weekend, Klopp was asked about how valuable Keita and Oxlade-Chamberlain are to his side in his pre-match press conference.
He said: “Obviously very valuable! It’s all about being available and using the momentum, that’s football.
“It doesn’t make you a worse player. Without luck in life, you are really on the wrong side of a lot of things.
“When you get injured, the football train never waits. We have to be on top of that and to try keep them in the best possible shape.
Klopp continued: “The quality of the players was never in doubt, come on. If you think about these players and you go through the strengths they have, you could have a book on its own.
“That’s life and that’s football. When you get the chance, you better use it. It will not be the last but it makes more sense to use it immediately.
“There are a lot of good players in our squad, we will make changes independently of performances in the last game, just for intensity reasons.”
Keita and Oxlade-Chamberlain still have big future at Anfield
It is clear from his comments that Klopp is still a big fan of both Keita and Oxlade-Chamberlain. The manager almost seemed insulted at the fact that some people question either players’ ability on the pitch.
He acknowledged that injuries are the only thing stopping them from being top, top players. We have been saying this for some time now.
We strongly believe that if he stays injury-free this season, he will make himself a guaranteed starter.
Oxlade-Chamberlain is not as good a footballer in our eyes, but his ability is still very underrated. Anyone who doubts it only has to look at his form pre-lockdown in 2019/20.
The truth is that Liverpool do not need to sign a replacement for Gini Wijnaldum if both of these players stay fit.
They are as good as you can get in terms of midfield depth.
Like Klopp, we just hope that they can stay fit for the long term. Then, we will both be proved right.