Jurgen Klopp admits two Liverpool players are performing below their best right now
Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Jurgen Klopp admits two Liverpool players are performing below their best right now

Jurgen Klopp has admitted that Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino are still searching for their best level after returning from injury.

The Liverpool attacking duo have recently come back from four and two months out respectively. Both have featured in each of the Reds last three games, but are yet to be in the team from the start.

Speaking to the press before Liverpool take on Crystal Palace tomorrow, Klopp spoke about both players’ form.

“You can see when the boys come on now they aren’t at their best yet [Jota and Firmino]. They need the minutes, everything will get better but that’s the situation we have,” said the manager.

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“We didn’t know if all the boys could even play again after Madrid because of some knocks here and there. So, we have to make changes [against Palace] and we want to make changes and we will. It’s not that you come back after a long injury and it’s clicking again. We have that situation with Bobby and Diogo, you can see it with Virgil as well.”

Klopp was also asked about the status of the fit-again Ibrahima Konate. “Ibou is near but had two sessions after a long injury,” he replied, suggesting a matchday squad appearance won’t happen just yet for the Frenchman.

Liverpool look to the old guard

To be fair to Jota and Firmino, they haven’t done all that badly since coming back in the Merseyside Derby. Both have shown flashes of why Liverpool have missed them during their time out injured.

But it’s also clear that the sharpness hasn’t quite come back just yet. As Klopp points out, that’s absolutely understandable. Jota for example has only played 11 times all season.

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The only way to get that sharpness back though is by playing. Liverpool are fortunate right now that Darwin Nunez, Cody Gakpo and Mohamed Salah are building up a good understanding. They don’t need to throw Jota and Bobby back in straight away.

At the same time though, they need to be given chances. Otherwise it’ll become even trickier for the pair to get back up to speed.

And as good as the preferred trio have been doing recently, Liverpool need Jota and Firmino as well. They’ve really missed Diogo’s clinical finishing, while Bobby has always given the Reds something totally unique.

So, with another game to come on Wednesday, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see either given a start tomorrow. Salah will always start, but either Darwin or Gakpo may make way at Selhurst.

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