Jurgen Klopp expecting big things from three Liverpool stars in Man City, Chelsea battle

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp believes three young players will be key for the Reds this season as they look to retain their Premier League title. Klopp talked up the talents of Curtis Jones, Naby Keita and Takumi Minamino. 

Liverpool begin their Premier League title defence this Saturday at home to newly-promoted Leeds United.  

Having won the league at a canter last year, they had a disappointing showing in the Community Shield and were beaten on penalties by Arsenal.  

They have been conservative with their transfer funds, spending just £11million on Kostas Tsimikas, who will be Andy Robertson’s understudy.  

Thiago Alcantara remains a transfer target, but the Reds have refused to stump up the £27m required to sign him from Bayern Munich.  

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Speaking on Tuesday, Klopp insisted he wouldn’t want the Reds to go mad in the transfer market, and insisted he wants to use the players he has at his disposal rather than spend like crazy. 

The German promised Liverpool fans that Keita, Jones and Minamino would have prominent roles going forward. 

Minamino joined from RB Salzburg in January, but failed to find his feet in Merseyside in the latter stages of the season. The attacker is highly rated, and tipped to have a big role in the side after the departure of Adam Lallana. 

Keita, who cost £50m back in 2018, hasn’t been able to hold down a place in the first-team side mainly due to injuries, but will likely be more prominent next season after recovering fully. 

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Klopp also discussed Jones, 19, who took the number 17 shirt for next season, with the boss hinting he could be involved from the start of the season.   

“We always want to improve the squad but there are different way – one way is to sign new players and the other way is to work together, improve the things you were good in and try to nullify the things you are not good in,” he said. 

“That is football. No-one wants to talk about training and only about signings. 

“Naby Keita had his most consistent player after lockdown because he did not have injuries and was a really important part of this period.  

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“I don’t want to put pressure on Curtis Jones but he looked very promising in the games he players. I was always clear that Takumi Minamino needs time and he looks completely different. 

“The distance between us and other teams we did not think about but we were happy because it meant we were champions seven matches before the end of the season.  

“The points tally had nothing to do with how much better we were than the other teams.  

“We are completely focussed on this season and how we play against Leeds United.” 

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