10 Sept 2016

Anfield Warning: Klopp tells £43m Liverpool-duo they 'need to perform' or face the axe

With Ragnar Klavan injured, and Mamadou Sakho on Jurgen Klopp's sh^t-list, Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip now have a great opportunity to cement their places at the heart of Liverpool's defence. The prevailing view appears to be that Lovren/Matip will be the Reds go-to duo for the season, but Klopp insists that nothing can be taken for granted.

When asked this week if Lovren and Matip will be Liverpool's main defensive partnership this season, Klopp told reporters:

"When they perform, why not, but we have to use the squad. Why should I say that’s the pair for the rest of the season? They need to perform [to stay in the team]".

This is such a refreshing (and much-needed) change from Brendan Rodgers' interminable sycophancy.

Klopp could've waxed lyrical about Lovren and Matip, and massaged their egos, but instead, he made it clear that no one's place in the team is safe, and consistent performance will dictate selection.

Of course, that's the way it should be. In an ideal world, football should be a meritocracy, with players selected purely based on performance, but it doesn't always work out like that.

Klopp's stance with Lovren and Matip is encouraging, but it would be great if he applied the same thinking to players like Adam Lallana, who seems to be everpresent in the team irrespective of performance.

^ Lovren: Cost £20m. Matip: 4-year contract worth £23m.


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