Liverpool: Klopp fumes over VAR call for Maddison goal
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Jurgen Klopp has admitted the “insane” coronavirus restrictions have made it difficult for Liverpool’s signings to settle at the club – and Julian Nagelsmann can relate to the Reds manager.
The Reds boss brought in Diogo Jota, Thiago Alcantara and Kostas Tsimikas during the summer window, with Jota impressing but Thiago and Tsimikas enduring slow starts to their careers at the club.
And with Liverpool struggling in the Premier League, Klopp strengthened his squad in the January transfer window with the arrivals of centre-back duo Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies.
It remains to be seen if the pair will have an impact at Anfield, but Klopp was desperate to bolster his ranks after suffering a defensive injury crisis.
With Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip all out injured, Kabak and Davies have been brought in to provide much-needed defensive cover.
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And the boss has now opened up on the struggles facing his side during the coronavirus crisis, with the big-money signings arriving at the club during an unpredictable time.
Speaking with RB Leipzig boss Julian Nagelsmann, who he faces in the Champions League round of 16 first leg tie in Budapest on Tuesday, Klopp told UEFA.tv: “I just walked here on foot, from my coaching office.
“It’s freezing cold in our building because the doors are open everywhere.
“It’s a big change, I would say. I have a jacket on currently, but inside I like to have it a bit warmer. But that’s only one part.
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“What I find extremely difficult… I don’t know how many new signings you have, but we had three (in the summer).
“It is very difficult to find your place in the team. You can’t spend much time together in the dressing room, nor in the restaurant. You can’t meet privately. It’s insane.”
Nagelsmann, who was linked with the Chelsea job before Thomas Tuchel was hired, confirmed the situation was no different in Germany
Responding to Klopp, he said: “We have some players who don’t speak German.
“It’s three times as difficult for them. They don’t have proper German class.
“They don’t have any contact whatsoever to their team-mates outside football because they are just sitting at home.
“I think you always see that it’s tough for new signings to integrate when you have a very established team, but this year it’s extreme.”
Indeed, Klopp conceded defeat in the Reds’ Premier League title defence on Saturday and the Champions League is their only other opportunity to finish the season with silverware.
The draw was not kind, pitting them against RB Leipzig, but the tournament represents a chance for the 2019 winners to regain a purpose.
If they can produce a strong display in Budapest – with German Government coronavirus regulations not allowing Klopp’s side to travel to the country – it could provide the lift they need to keep fighting until the end.
On the other side of the coin, RB Leipzig and their highly-rated manager Nagelsmann will view this week’s first-leg tie as another chance to make a mark.
After they reached the last four of the Champions League last August, the once-dubbed ‘Baby Mourinho’ will be out to show it was no flash in the pan.
The 33-year-old has various suitors and more success over an English club, after they essentially knocked out Manchester United back in December, will do his growing CV no harm.
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