Gomez-Matip partnership is not rocket science - Klopp

By Ben Spratt 24 October 2020 30
Gomez-Matip partnership is not rocket science - Klopp

Jurgen Klopp is confident centre-backs Joe Gomez and Joel Matip will have little issue forming an effective partnership in the absence of Liverpool talisman Virgil van Dijk.

Van Dijk is set to miss at least the majority of the current campaign after suffering knee ligament damage in a challenge from Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford during last week's Merseyside derby.

Matip missed the midweek win over Ajax, meaning Fabinho stepped into defence, but Klopp's options are limited moving forward.

Dejan Lovren left at the end of last season, leaving Gomez and Matip as the club's only remaining natural centre-backs.

Klopp expects the duo to adapt and "fight together", although they are yet to start alongside each other in this role due to Van Dijk's dominance.

"The reason for that is because I think Virg played pretty much all the games and one of them was injured," Klopp said.

"As long as Dejan Lovren was still here and Dejan was in that moment fit, [he could play].

"I didn't know they had never played together, I didn't know that, but they can play together – not a shadow of a doubt.

"As I said for the Fabinho and Joe pairing, they need to get used to each other and the full-backs need to get used to them. The more stability you have in this line, the better.

"We never had that really – especially one position was always with a lot of changes.

"They will fight together, there is no doubt about that. It is football and it didn't become rocket science overnight. We can help them with information but then they will get tested every three days – that's the situation."

Meanwhile, Klopp was asked for his thoughts on Marcus Rashford's work campaigning to end child hunger.

The Manchester United forward spent Friday promoting offers of free meals from restaurants around the United Kingdom on his social media pages after the government voted against maintaining a scheme to serve this purpose through school holidays.

"It's just nice to show in a time when obviously a lot of people who are really in charge of something and don't show any sign of proper leadership, that a boy grown up in difficult circumstances, blessed with a sensational talent obviously, never forgot his roots and where he is coming from," Klopp said.

"That he has to do it then is a bit of a shame but is wonderful as well. I hope his mother is really proud of him. I don't know him but even I am.

"He plays for United, which makes it really tricky. But it's really an absolutely wonderful, wonderful thing."

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