Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has revealed his frustration that the five substitutions rule has been dropped by the Premier League, ahead of the Reds clash with newly-promoted Leeds United on Saturday.
With COVID-19 bringing Premier League action to an abrupt halt in March, top-flight clubs voted to allow the use of five substitutes for the remainder of the season – as players made their return to action with a gruelling fixture list following a three-month break
However, as the 2020/21 campaign gets set to begin this weekend, clubs have decided to return to the policy of using three substitutions per match – despite renewed pressure from the division’s top sides in recent weeks.
It has been said that the five sub rule handed a greater advantage to the league’s biggest sides with the deepest squads, though with this season set to be around month shorter than normal, Klopp insists his desire for the rule to remain was down to his concerns over ‘player welfare’.
🗣" It's nice that we are linked with him its because hes a good player and Liverpool are a big team but unfortunately I can't end speculations"
Reporter "So it might happen then" 🤣
Jurgen Klopp on Liverpool's speculation with Thiago pic.twitter.com/gKdmL40GHL
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) September 11, 2020
“So, it’s about we compress a normal season in a shorter period, which will be a proper challenge, especially with the wonderful rule we set up with 18 [players in the squad] and three [substitutes to make] pretty much,” Klopp said at his pre-match press conference.
“It’s only about player welfare, by the way – I wanted to say that, nothing else, but I don’t know why we have to discuss this at all. Like the whole world is doing, at the least the whole of Europe, but that’s how it is. It will just be difficult, but it is always difficult so that’s not new.”
The newly crowned champions kick off their campaign against newly-promoted Leeds United – the Championship winners having brought to an end their 16 year absence from the top tier, and Klopp is under no doubt that the quality his side will come up against on Saturday evening.
”We don’t have to think in this moment about the whole season, we have to think about Leeds – and that is enough to think about,” he said. “It’s a Premier League team – new in the Premier League, [but] really a Premier League team quality-wise with a world-class manager and an incredibly intense idea of football.
“We have to be ready for that, so that’s what I am thinking about and not too much about the rest of the season.”