Liverpool manager says that the major reason he does not want to sign an extra midfielder that his summer is that doing so would have the potential to stifle the progress of young first-team squad members Harvey Elliott, Curtis Jones, Fabio Carvalho and Tyler Morton.
The Reds have made three additions to their squad so far this summer, with striker being signed from Benfica for a minimum fee of £64m, while Carvalho has arrived on a free transfer from Fulham and teenage Scottish right-back Calvin Ramsay has joined from Aberdeen.
The former pair are currently in Thailand as Klopp and co. conduct the first portion of the preparations, with matches scheduled against Manchester United in Bangkok on Tuesday and Crystal Palace in Singapore on Friday.
Liverpool were interested in signing France midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni from AS Monaco before he moved to , but have not pursued any other additions in the centre of the park since they missed out, and Klopp says another arrival is now very unlikely.
Giving further insight into the reasoning behind that decision, Klopp praised his young crop of talents, highlighting Elliott particularly after the 19-year-old impressed last year in a season hampered by a long-term ankle injury.
‘What do we need… creativity?’, Klopp asked rhetorically in Bangkok. ‘If we bring in a player just for that, we immediately make it more difficult for Harvey, Curtis and Fabio. So where is the need for a midfielder? [I am waiting for] the day when somebody comes to me and tells me why exactly.
‘Of course I rate our young players highly,’ Klopp said. ‘We should not forget that last season, in the first four games, Harvey Elliott was the best player. He was outstanding. Then he had a bad injury, came back, [he was] high, low. Normal for a young player, and normal after a long injury. He looks sharp now, he’s back, and like everybody he needs luck.’
Jones, meanwhile, has made 74 Liverpool appearances at the age of just 21. A product of the club’s academy, Klopp feels he and new signing Carvalho have significant contributions to make in the season ahead.
‘Curtis Jones — what a player he is as well. Fabio, you look at him and what he did at Fulham. Why should we bring a boy in and tell him he is midfielder number nine? It makes no sense. You have to leave the doors open for the boys. I really don’t understand the discussion. We always try to improve, and we can improve internally as well. They can put pressure on the more experienced guys, for sure.’
19-year-old Morton played nine matches for the club’s first-team last season, including being drafted into the starting eleven as the deepest-lying midfielder in away matches against Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League and AC Milan in the UEFA Champions League, and holding his own in the process.
‘By the way, Tyler Morton in training, incredible!’, Klopp exclaimed. ‘He plays as a number eight now, we don’t force him to play as a controlling number six in a Premier League game [like versus Spurs last December]. He’s training as an eight, and it’s like “wow, how good is that?” There’s really a lot of excitement for this situation from our side.’
Liverpool will start the new Premier League season with a trip to Craven Cottage to play newly-promoted Fulham on 6 August.
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