Liverpool resume Premier League duties this weekend with their first home of the season against champions Leicester City.
Manager Jürgen Klopp was speaking to the media for the first time since a fairly hectic transfer deadline day, when a number of players left Anfield.
One player who did not leave, despite every effort by the club to facilitate it, was Mamadou Sakho. Liverpool had told the French international defender that it was in his best interests to find a temporary club for the season, in order to get fit and recover from a turbulent few months mentally for the 26-year-old.
However, he rejected loan approaches from teams such as West Brom and Stoke, and he remains at Anfield despite not knowing when (or even if) he’ll play again this season.
Klopp, though, insists that any decision about whether to play Sakho will have to wait until he is fully fit, and even then the manager doesn’t know when that will be:
“Now it is about making Mama fit – which he isn’t after this long time with suspension and injury – and we will see what happens.
“I have no idea what happens when because it is who plays how, who performs when, our results. At the end Mama knows and I know and from my side that is enough.
“It’s not a problem. He doesn’t have to gain my trust. He didn’t play football for a long time, he needs to play football. That’s difficult here because the other players are fit.
“We had to speak about it before the window closes – that’s what I did. I’m not silly enough to forget good performances.
“We have one more good centre-half so it is all good but for him it needs time.”
Though Klopp was relatively forthcoming regarding updates on Sakho, he would not be drawn on responding fully to comments made by Mino Raiola earlier this week.
The agent of Mario Balotelli has been very vocal in criticisng Liverpool’s treatment of the Italian striker – even going so far as to call the boss “a piece of sh*t” at one point – but Klopp refuse to sink to Raiola’s level, and when asked how much the comments affected him, he answered:
“He can say what he wants…..it’s a free world. I’m not interested in things like this.
“I know him, that’s all. Not interested. All good. Free world.”
Attention then turned back to this weekend’s match against Leicester. The Reds will play in front of the newly-renovated Anfield main stand for the first time, and the manager feels that the extra capacity in the ground can make a massive difference to his team’s performance:
“8,000 more fans in the stadium. That’s more power and we should use this wonderful opportunity.”
Klopp went on to confirm that Sadio Mané will be fully fit for the clash on Saturday, but that Emre Can and Ragnar Klavan will definitely miss out through injury.
Loris Karius has returned to training having sustained a broken hand in pre-season, but Simon Mignolet is likely to continue in goal for the time being at least.