© foto di Daniele Buffa/Image Sport
Ahead of Liverpool CL debut match against Ajax, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp stated:
"Yes, we went in the season with three centre-halves, plus Fabinho as a cover, plus young kids as cover. That's usually quite a good number. As a football club, it's difficult to have four world-class centre-halves. Immediately on one side it's pretty expensive, [and] for the other side one of them doesn't play for a long, long time. That's pretty difficult because it's not a position you rotate too much, so it's a tricky one. You cannot have the solutions always before you have the problem. Yes, it's not perfect, for sure not. Joel Matip is not here as well, so that's not perfect. But that's our situation and we have to deal with it. We will see how we react on it. We are still a little bit sensitive in the situation, which you are obviously not. That's exactly why we are in the moment in a completely different mood to you. The first question people ask, 'What are you doing now in the transfer market?' We know since yesterday that our vice-captain and the best centre-half in the world is not playing for us for a long time – we will see how long. And now we work on solutions for now and from a specific moment on, we will try to find solutions for the future but I have no idea how they will look in this moment.
Ajax is a top club. If Ajax would play in England, they [would] have to strengthen every year. But they play in Holland – you have different difficulties, I would say. What they can do with their wonderful youth system, they bring through top players, can sell them for a lot of money all over the world and then the next one is in line already. I don't feel sorry for them, I don't think anybody has to feel sorry for them. It's a sensational club with an outstanding philosophy, with a really world-class coach and world-class talent. Meanwhile, from what I see from the outside, they change their philosophy slightly. They're bringing in more experienced players or bring them back – apart from Tadic, I think pretty much all the others played already there before – and mixing up with the youth. They are ambitious and they are top. Two years ago they were in the semi-final of the Champions League. Yes, they lost some players but again they have a top team in line and there's nothing to feel sorry for. It's just really good to do it the Ajax way.
We still will try. In the future maybe we will miss Thiago a bit more but so far we played only once with him. Before that, we played without and he's a world-class player, 100 per cent, but we won some games without him and we'll give it a proper try. About Virgil, we said pretty much everything. You only realise when you have a difficult moment and you realise in the questions [that] people are just not interested in what we are doing. For everybody it's fun and, 'Watch Champions League tomorrow night and have a look how Liverpool will do this or that.' We will give it a proper try, I promise you. No excuses for nothing. We know how strong Ajax is, we respect them a lot. We nearly played them one-and-a-half years ago but that didn't happen, that's not our fault. Now we are here and play them. It's a wonderful city, great stadium, super team – that's how the Champions League should be, apart from no supporters in the stadium. It's nearly perfect and all the rest is normal football. You can barely play with exactly the team you want to play with at the beginning of the week because so many things can happen and nowadays even more things can happen. Our job is to deal with it.
I said it already, we will try. Why should I think that the boys cannot deal with the situation? But the number of questions you ask around the game, it's obvious you all think we will struggle with it. It means we now have to prove you wrong, even when I'm not even interested to prove you wrong. I'm only interested in the best for Liverpool and for my players. That's what we try now and hopefully the results we have in the next few weeks will calm you all slightly down but I cannot promise it".