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Gareth Southgate ‘gets what we give him’ thanks to three-sub rule – Jurgen Klopp

By Carl Markham, PA
·5-min read

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has warned England boss Gareth Southgate he will have a problem for Euro 2020 as he will “get what he is given” by Premier League clubs if the current three-substitute rule persists.

Klopp has been the most vocal proponent of a return to having the option to make five changes during a match, in line with what happened after lockdown ended last season.

However, despite him and a number of other managers supporting the move there was no vote on it at this week’s Premier League meeting.

“I’m not surprised. I told you that in the managers’ meeting (in November) if we would have voted that day, which we were not allowed to, it would have been through 100 per cent with 15 or 16 votes,” he said.

“That it didn’t happen since then is a sign some shareholders and CEOs and sporting directors see differently from their managers.

“That is not a good sign, really, to be honest. These people now really ignore player welfare.

“Now pretty much all teams have to play every three days, it will be massive for everybody from now on and every team will feel the difference.

“And next summer it will become a problem for Gareth Southgate. Most of the players Gareth wants to pick play (European) football, pretty much all.

“Gareth will get what we give him if we stick with three subs. If we stick with three subs, he has a problem then, so it is an FA problem.”

Klopp also responded to former Manchester United defender Gary Neville, who said the current situation is making the division more competitive.

“I heard now Gary Neville said I didn’t understand it. I can’t remember what he said exactly but it’s not about Liverpool,” he added.

“Whatever he thinks is maybe evidence of of how he would do it, how he would deal with a situation like that.

“But he cannot, or should not think I am like him because I am not like him. I speak about all the players.”

Having admitted in recent weeks he would not even had the personnel to make five changes in a match such was their injury problem Klopp is optimistic reinforcements are just around the corner.

Right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold, who has missed four matches with a calf strain, and Naby Keita, out for three with a hamstring problem, could be back for Sunday’s visit of Wolves.

“Trent and Naby will make their first steps in team training today,” said the Reds boss.

“There’s a chance that Naby and Trent could be in the squad I would say, whether they can start or play 90 minutes I do not know.”

Klopp also had some good news on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who has not played since a knee injury in pre-season.

“He does the warming-up with the team now, some ball work, and we will develop that over the coming days and weeks and we will see what moment it makes sense to throw him in. He’s not far away,” he added.

There was a further boost with Virgil Van Dijk returning to light duties after his knee operation in October.

“Working harder than ever,” the Holland captain wrote on social media alongside images of him working out at the club’s AXA Training Centre in Kirkby.

Klopp also has to make a decision on his goalkeeper with Alisson Becker still out with a thigh problem.

Caoimhin Kelleher was the surprise deputy for Tuesday’s Champions League victory over Ajax and performed well enough to be in contention to make his Premier League debut ahead of established number two Adrian.

“A big call, yes but thank God it worked out. That’s not always the case. But that’s good and we will see,” said Klopp.

“Caoimhin is a sensationally talented goalie: now he got the chance and I think he convinced everybody.

Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher is in contention for his Premier League debut on Sunday
Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher is in contention for his Premier League debut on Sunday (Paul Ellis/PA)

“But Adrian doesn’t deserve just to be written off now, there’s no reason for that. He supported Caoimhin in an exceptional way after he got the information that he would not start, he behaved unbelievably.

“There are not a lot of reasons I could mention in this moment to say he will not start against Wolves, but there is training in between and other things, he has to stay fit, we have sessions.

“But he has done enough to convince me, but he did that already months and years ago.”