Jurgen Klopp Confirms That Cody Gakpo Is in The Squad Against Wolves, But “there will be no rotation”


Jurgen Klopp has revealed that Liverpool will line up “as strong as possible” for Saturday’s FA Cup match with Wolverhampton, with Cody Gakpo in line for his debut.

As a rule, Klopp approached cup games with rotation, and last season such stars as Takumi Minamino and Kostas Tsimikas participated in the fight for the trophy.

But since he has five days left to recover from the defeat at Brentford, and another week before the next game at Brighton, the coach insists that “there will be no rotation.”

“If you’re playing on Wednesday-Saturday-Tuesday or whatever, you need to think about it,” he explained on Friday.

“In our case, we played on Monday, and now on Saturday, and then, I think, again on Saturday, so no, it was always clear that we would play as well, strong and experienced as we could.

“But we’ve actually always done that — it just looked a little different sometimes, but it was always the best line-up for a particular game.

“There will be no rotation from Monday to Saturday because of competitions or something else.”

Of course, there will certainly be changes, not least due to Virgil van Dijk’s injury, while there will be a temptation to use £44 million by signing Gakpo from the start.

It remains to be seen whether Klopp will return to his new number 18 or stay with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on the left, but he has confirmed that he will at least be in the team.

“I’m not sure if any player who signed up in this window has already played, most likely not,” he explained.

“We were pretty early, so this is the first possible moment when a player can play.

“This is the first possible moment for us, and it is absolutely perfect.

“Business usually starts later in January and decisions are made later, but in this particular case we were quite early, so I am completely satisfied with the situation.”

Gakpo’s availability comes at a time when there are few options in the last third and Klopp admits Roberto Firmino is still not fit as he joins Luis Diaz and Diogo Hota as absentees.

There was speculation that Gakpo could have the same impact as the fact that Diaz enjoyed this time last year, and although he did not compare the two, his excitement was palpable.

“Cody is waiting for two days, two training days, full training days. To be honest, it’s nice to watch,” Klopp said enthusiastically.

“Of course, with our situation, the injuries of the strikers, it’s very nice to have a guy on the field who is obviously quite natural in many things.

“[He gets] the attacking part of the game and knows where the goal is. This is always very useful.

“He is clearly full of joy, enjoying every second of the moment. So that’s very good.”

Although Firmino is still out of the game, and James Milner and Naby Keita are also expected to miss the match along with Van Dijk, Diaz, Hota and Arthur, Klopp may turn to his captain again.

Jordan Henderson missed the trip to Brentford as Liverpool followed concussion protocol after being hit on the head in the 2-1 win over Leicester, but started training again on Thursday.

“Hando, he did exactly what he was allowed to do yesterday — large parts of team training without a head,” Klopp said.

“From today on, I think he’s completely allowed to do everything.”


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