Liverpool: Jurgen Klopp admits he ‘regrets’ his use of one Reds star during his farewell season

News Desk
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp looks dejected on the Liverpool bench.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp admits one “regret” he has about his final season at the club centres around his use of England U21 international Harvey Elliott.

The 21-year-old has made 117 appearances, around half of which have been off the bench, since his making his Liverpool debut in 2019 and his 51 games this season is the most in a single campaign as he has made a more significant contribution in midfield.

“If I regret one thing…”

Recent performances have shown Elliott at his best and Klopp, who will move on in the summer after the final two games of the season, said he wished he could have played him more.

“It’s not like I go back and think ‘Where did we go wrong here and there?’ but if I regret one thing a little bit it’s that Harvey didn’t play often enough maybe,” he said.

“In a very important and intense period in January when we had a lot of injuries, he played really good, probably our best player whether it was right wing or right midfield, all these kind of things.

“(Then) everybody came back and he had a few minutes here and there and didn’t start any more and then came on and made a big impact.

“It’s really nice that he could show that.”

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Klopp was asked whether Elliott’s late-season form could lead to an England call-up for the Euros, having impressed for the under-21s over the last year.

“If it would help Harvey whatever I say then I would say it,” he added.

“But you just start a discussion in public and, even though he has done nothing wrong, some people will find a reason why Harvey Elliott shouldn’t be there. The boy (then) reads it and he feels bad.

“If somebody wants to pick him then he has everything you need. You can pack a suitcase in an instant. It’s not a problem but I will not be part of that discussion.”

Another player who has had a resurgence in recent weeks is Cody Gakpo, who found himself behind Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez, Luis Diaz and, when fit, Diogo Jota in the pecking order.

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Klopp admits he could probably have spent more time with the Dutchman, who has just had his first child, to get him out of a slump but is pleased the 25-year-old’s form is starting to return.

“Cody knows for a while he was not in his best moment. We had a conversation – it’s not for the public what we spoke about – but it helped him a lot and we could sort it a little bit,” added the manager ahead of Monday’s trip to Aston Villa.

“It’s just a problem of ‘Can I speak immediately to players who are not performing any more at the levels you expect them to?’

“You can, but how can I have an answer for his situation if I don’t understand it? You have to try to look a bit longer into it and wait for a specific moment when I can give answers.

“Maybe from my point of view that took too long. That’s maybe the case but after that talk he really stepped up and it’s really good to see how physically strong he is.

“He is a good footballer and can play right wing, left wing especially and centre. Smart again, full of confidence, physical strength, he is in a good moment and it’s good for us.”

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