Football: Injury woes may force Klopp to go on shopping spree

Jordon (far left) Ibe slamming the ball past Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Butland to give Liverpool a 1-0 win on Tuesday. The winger is confident that the Reds can advance to the final by finishing off Stoke in the second leg at home.
Jordon (far left) Ibe slamming the ball past Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Butland to give Liverpool a 1-0 win on Tuesday. The winger is confident that the Reds can advance to the final by finishing off Stoke in the second leg at home.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LONDON • Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp admitted on Tuesday that he may have to enter the transfer market to alleviate an injury crisis that has affected 11 players, following hamstring injuries to Dejan Lovren and Philippe Coutinho.

The injuries marred one of the gutsiest displays under Klopp as the Reds played with intensity and negated Stoke City's creative threat to win the League Cup semi-final first leg 1-0 at the Britannia Stadium.

Jordon Ibe, who replaced Coutinho after 18 minutes, scored the winner as half-time neared. By the close, Klopp was counting the cost of the victory.

His team ended the game with Lucas Leiva and Kolo Toure in central defence. Toure also appeared to suffer a hamstring problem but it was only cramp.

Liverpool travel to Exeter for tomorrow's FA Cup third-round tie and Klopp is unsure who he can field in central defence. While Toure may be available, Mamadou Sakho, who has a knee injury, is out.

Joe Gomez is another defender who is unavailable, due to a torn anterior cruciate ligament, and Klopp stated this may force him to spend and add to his squad. Liverpool have also asked Aston Villa to cancel central defender Tiago Ilori's season-long loan at Villa Park.

"In this moment with no centre-backs fit, I would say in this situation maybe we should think about that," the German said.

Six of Klopp's injured players have hamstring problems while Daniel Sturridge, Martin Skrtel, Divock Origi and Jordan Rossiter all have muscle injuries.

The manager appeared to bridle when asked if he would have to look at his training regimen.

The latest stats from Opta suggest that the team are running on average 6km more during a game under Klopp than under his predecessor Brendan Rodgers. Liverpool are also doing many more sprints per game, on average 548 compared to 474 under Rodgers.

The extra workload could be a result of Klopp's adherence to "gegenpressing", which involves forcing turnover of possession high up the pitch by relentless pressure from all outfield players.

"We don't train, we only recover so that's the situation now," he said. "But no problem, really. I am responsible for these things, and if you want to make me responsible for our hamstrings - that's the next step, I know this."

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 07, 2016, with the headline 'Injury woes may force Klopp to go on shopping spree'. Print Edition | Subscribe