Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has dismissed the idea that his squad requires a rebuild in the summer, despite their Premier League title defence looking all but over by February.
Having cantered to the league title during the 2019/20 campaign, the Reds have already lost more top flight matches this term than in the previous two seasons combined, leaving them 19 points off Manchester City in top spot and facing a fight to finish in the top four.
Liverpool’s title defence has not been aided by a plethora of long-term injury concerns – with captain Jordan Henderson the latest set for a substantial spell on the sidelines – while 12 members of the first team squad are aged 28 or over.
“What is a rebuild? Ten out, 10 in? Changes to the [starting] XI? Which XI?! I don’t think it’s a time for a massive rebuild, like six or seven out, running contracts but trying to get rid of them and bring in all new faces,” Klopp said (via Goal).
“This squad, this year, didn’t have the chance to play together once, really. I think it would make sense to have a look at that, but on top of that of course little readjustments will happen.
“Reacting to the situation but at the same time planning for the future. I’m not sure if we can do that in the summer, to be honest, but that’s what we will try.”
Liverpool are currently in a particularly patchy run of form, having lost four in a row in the Premier League for the first time since December 2002 – and Klopp has called on his team to ‘fight’ through this tricky period together.
“It’s clear that winning game after game after game is nicer, absolutely, but this is a different time, a different season for us, for plenty of reasons,” the Liverpool boss added. “We have to fight through this and we will.
“Maybe the important message is; we are still Liverpool. That’s what we feel. You are not only Liverpool when you win 20 games in a row or don’t lose a home game for ages. No, we are still Liverpool, and that’s exactly what I know, what I live, what I love, and what gives me the energy.”