Klopp unveils two new Liverpool wildcards as fringe players miss opportunity

Jurgen Klopp has given Liverpool fans a taste of the future with his introduction of two players in the Champions League.

Leighton Clarkson started the match to make his full debut for the Reds as Billy Koumetio came on at half-time.

And that is to the detriment of some of Liverpool's fringe players.

Takumi Minamino, Kostas Tsimikas and Divock Origi can feel that they did not do enough during the match to convince Klopp of a more prominent role.

Both have been keen on more opportunities but failed to shine.

Liverpool were in cruise control at half-time after Mohamed Salah netted in the opening exchanges.

But, with Klopp looking to the weekend, he hauled Fabinho off and that completely changed the flow of the game with the hosts taking control.

After barraging Liverpool's defence, FC Midtjylland were awarded a penalty in controversial circumstances.

Anders Dreyer appeared to be offside at first viewing when he was sent through on goal and was then fouled by Caoimhim Kelleher.

Alexander Scholz tucked away the penalty and suddenly Klopp was forced into making changes.

He turned to his more trusted stars with Jordan Henderson, Andy Robertson, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino all coming on.

Minamino had the ball in the net but VAR ruled it out after the initial header from Mane was deemed to have hit his hand on the way to the Japan international.

The German manager will not be happy with his fringe players, who failed to take up the chance they had been given.

But he will over the moon with 18-year-old Clarkson, who played the full 90 minutes.

Before the match, Klopp sang his praises – explaining how he is much more developed than most players this age.

He said: “Leighton is one of the biggest talents in our club. He’s been there for ages.

"He’s a midfielder, number six type, can play eight as well.

“He’s very talented, good football playing boy. In Germany, there was famous player who played similar to him, you might go back, I don’t want to put pressure on him. “But he reminds me a lot of him, just a good footballer.

“Smart footballer, fast, physically strong. If you see his legs they are not like an 18-year-old boys legs, they are fully grown.

“I’m really happy to give him his opportunity because he deserves it.”

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