LIVERPOOL, United Kingdom, Sep 20 – Jurgen Klopp feels Mamadou Sakho is not ready to return to the Liverpool side following a recent Achilles injury.
The 26-year-old French international has returned to training but the German mentor says while he may be physically fit, he insists the centre-back is not match-fit.
Sakho courted controversy in pre-season as a result of his poor time-keeping while on tour in the United States and was sent home as a result of his poor attitude.
He was late for the team flight from Liverpool to California before arriving late for a team meal ahead of missing a treatment session in Palo Alto.
Speaking ahead of the club’s English League Cup tie with Derby County on Tuesday, Klopp said: “He is closer, but there is a big difference between match fitness and everything.
“It is not about how the player feels, it is about how close I feel he is.”
Klopp also revealed he intends to field a strong side for the match, as Liverpool don’t have any European commitments.
“You can be sure we will find a strong line-up again for this game.
“It is not about resting 100 per cent fit players, it is a normal rhythm and a rhythm we want to have next year again every three or four days (in European competition).
“We know how to handle it and we know about recovery. Take risks in football, but not with players who are not 100 per cent.”