Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool players will only get picked on merit

Liverpool v Brighton and Hove Albion – Premier League – Anfield
(Image credit: Nick Potts)

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists there is no room for sentiment in his team selection and previous performance is no guarantee of a regular place.

Most of the German’s first-choice side are Champions League and Premier League winners having won the trophies in back-to-back seasons.

However, the arrival of Colombia winger Luis Diaz in a £37.5million transfer from Porto looks like the second stage, after Diogo Jota’s signing in September 2020, of refreshing his famed forward line.

Takumi Minamino tackles Luis Diaz

Luis Diaz’s arrival provides additional competition up front (Peter Byrne/PA)

There have been further additions in defence with Kostas Tsimikas and Ibrahima Konate arriving in the last couple of seasons to initially provide back-up but, in the longer-term, challenge for a place.

And Klopp admits no-one who has enjoyed success under him in the past should get too comfortable.

“We didn’t bring in different players to create competition, we brought in players to have solutions in different situations,” he said.

“That means boys have to deal with it, that’s the job they have to do. My job is not to stick with the boys as much as I like them and as much as I owe them for what we went through together, my job is to pick the best team for today not yesterday.

“It means there is the first line-up – run your socks off, play as good as you can as long as you can and if you can’t do that any more then another player has to be there who can replace you and do the same job and if possible even better as he is fresher. That’s the idea behind it.

“We’ve suffered so much from injuries in the last few years and if it happens (again) we should be better prepared.

“If it doesn’t happen then we have a situation where we have players on the bench who expect to play and we have players not in the squad who expect to be on the bench.

“These kind of situations are never for long but sometimes it will happen. Footballers are used to that.

“If there is a player who can play in the same position as yourself in a quite impressive way then you’d better perform.

“The more top-class options we have the better it is for the club and that’s hopefully the situation.”

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