No January signings: Klopp

Jordan Henderson may feature in today's game at Anfield where the home team have struggled to reach lofty heights this season.
Jordan Henderson may feature in today's game at Anfield where the home team have struggled to reach lofty heights this season.PHOTO: ACTION IMAGES

Reds boss wants to give players a chance to cement spot in team, injured players also making return

LONDON • Juergen Klopp says there is no urgent need for Liverpool to enter the transfer market, having discovered hidden depths in a squad whom he believes will need strengthening next month only if injury strikes.

Having taken the manager's job on the basis that he would coax more out of players who had been underperforming, the German remains determined to give all members of the squad the opportunity to show they have a future at the English football club.

Klopp is therefore reluctant to trigger a recruitment drive when the transfer window opens in three weeks, although he maintains that Liverpool's global scouting network is ready to act if the right player becomes available.

"If we need to do something, we will do it, not talk about it before," he said. "In this moment, I don't think about it.

"If we have problems, it's not with quality; it is maybe with concentration or other things.

"But we don't know if players we get will do better. I'd give the advice to stay cool and see what happens."

He is looking for further improvement from within, particularly with several players nearing full fitness after injury.

Philippe Coutinho and Jordan Henderson could start at Anfield against West Bromwich Albion today after spells on the sidelines.

Jon Flanagan is expected to return to the first-team picture next week, having not played since May last year.

With Brad Smith now considered an alternative to Alberto Moreno at left-back, Klopp is satisfied with the options available.

"Flanno will come back next week and then we will have two right-backs and two left-backs," he said. "I don't feel we have to look at other people just because they cost £20 million (S$43 million).

"In midfield, we have Jordan Henderson back, so that's like a new option for us. We have other offensive players and we have more strikers than others (clubs)."

Klopp, obviously, would want the players to put up a better display than they did last Sunday when they lost 0-2 at Newcastle - only the second time that Liverpool had been beaten since Klopp took charge just over two months ago.

They now lie eighth in the league going into this weekend's programme, only two places higher than they were when Brendan Rodgers was sacked on Oct 4.

Today's match against Albion is unlikely to be straightforward either as their best displays under Klopp have been on the road.

On home turf, they have looked edgy and nervous for much of the season - winning only three times in the league.

The returns of Coutinho and Henderson will be of benefit but they will once again be without injury-prone striker Daniel Sturridge.

It means Christian Benteke is likely to lead the attack, despite a poor performance at St James' Park.

Before Liverpool's unexpected defeat at Newcastle, a number of experts had begun tipping them as candidates for the title.

While one bad day at the office does not mean the momentum has been lost, it does mean that victory over West Brom is significant in order to maintain it.

But Tony Pulis has typically constructed a solidity within his side, particularly away from home - they have lost just three of their last 11 league away games.

Which suggests that the hosts will have to work hard for the points today.

THE TIMES, LONDON, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 13, 2015, with the headline 'NO JANUARY SIGNINGS: KLOPP'. Print Edition | Subscribe