Jurgen Klopp has opened up on Liverpool’s summer rebuild of their midfield and Alexis Mac Allister’s impressive recent form.
The Reds embarked on an overhaul of their engine room in the summer, as long-term figures of the Klopp era in Jordan Henderson, Fabinho and James Milner moved on.
Liverpool signed four midfielders, Alexis Mac Allister, Ryan Gravenberch, Dominik Szoboszlai and Wataru Endo, and have improved this season to climb to the top of the Premier League table.
Speaking at a press conference ahead of this weekend’s clash with title rivals Arsenal, Klopp discussed the plan to restructure his midfield in the summer.
“The profile we wanted to sign was clear; we wanted the age where they can be playing in both directions, leggy, quick and technically good. Stuff like this,” the German said.
“But these midfielders will not change anything if the team is not defending. We had to defend better. That’s what we did. It’s much clearer, offensive line presses higher, they’re all in, that makes a difference. Not so much the midfielders we have there.
“The midfielders we had there last season were some of the best we ever had. It was clear we had to change, which we did, but we needed to change as a team. If you want we can talk about everything because we are top of the league. So far we have become a better version of ourselves.”
Mac Allister has found form in recent weeks to produce his best run of performance since arriving from Brighton. Klopp has been delighted with the impact of the Argentine, who has been tasked with occupying a more defensive role of late.
“Macca is the same in midfield as [Diogo Jota up front]. Like a football doctor. It is a wonderful story with his father, brothers and uncles, analysing games as a kid. I could not thank his father enough for that knowledge and education. Playing the position he plays the way he does is very very special. Super smart. And his contribution for all our play in possession is extremely important.
“We have had it in a few years during a time I was here when going well that everyone wants to write a book about an individual player They are all good, really good. That’s why we are top of the table in the best league in the world at this moment in time.
“Are there any bad players in this team? No. The job is now about how good looking and fantastic they are it’s really about us digging deep into the season and keep going, hold your breath, buckle up and go for it with these fantastic players. You want to see your potential, but consistency too. Go again, again and again.”