Jurgen Klopp has compared Liverpool’s third-place finish last term to the Reds’ Premier League title win the season before.
The German suggested that the achievement was of a similar magnitude to bringing the title back to Anfield due to the sheer scale of injuries suffered, citing the loss of the club’s starting centre-back duo.
“The biggest problem was that we had to play without a defence,” the former Dortmund boss told Bild.
“Van Dijk, Matip and Gomez are out. It took us until we could deal with it. Our structure was just gone. We couldn’t play what was normal for us before.
“Third place is just as high as the championship title the year before.”
With the Merseysiders struggling to arrange a consistent centre-half pairing – not to forget injuries suffered to summer signings in Thiago Alcantara and Diogo Jota – the side’s form after the turn of the year suffered tremendously.
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Having witnessed the return of Virgil van Dijk to the starting-XI from the first game of the campaign, the importance of the Dutchman to Klopp’s Liverpool outfit speaks for itself.
While it’s perhaps far too early in the season to make any title claims, it’s undeniable that we look a far more assured side without key injuries – as is expected.
Given the number of key men out on the sidelines, it’s understandable why Klopp has then compared a top four finish to the dizzying heights of our title victory in the 2019/20 campaign.
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