LIVERPOOL, United Kingdom, Aug 18 – Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says Andrew Robertson is pushing to make his debut in Saturday’s Premier League clash with Crystal Palace as the Philippe Coutinho transfer saga rumbles on.
Robertson arrived from Hull in July but the Scotland left-back has yet to feature in a competitive game since his £10 million ($12 million) transfer.
Spanish defender Alberto Moreno has been Klopp’s first choice at left-back so far, but the German has been impressed with Robertson’s attitude since his arrival.
“Everything is OK with him. He is in a good moment and his development so far has been really good, he has adapted well,” Klopp said.
“He is a really good player but it is how it is with specialist left full-backs, it is difficult; you play or it is possible you are not in the squad.
“He is on a really good way and everything is fine from my side. It is very early, he came in late and he has to adapt to our style of play.
“The rule is if you train really good, if you work really hard, if you improve, if you develop, everything will be good at the end.”
Klopp said he is eagerly anticipating Liverpool’s first match of the season at Anfield, even though it’s against a Palace team who have often proved tricky opponents for the Reds.
“I’m really looking forward to Anfield,” Klopp added.
“It was a long time ago that we played there and that’s our place, that’s where we want to play, that’s where we want to be, especially after these two first games. We already showed we are ready again.”
Liverpool have been boosted by the availability of England striker Daniel Sturridge after he recovered from a thigh injury picked up in pre-season.
– Transitional stage –
However, Klopp is still without Brazil forward Coutinho, ruled out with a back problem, at the end of a week that saw Liverpool reiterate their desire to hold onto their wantaway star amid continued interest from Barcelona.
“Phil is not available; he is not training so far, so there is nothing new. It is always how it is with injured players, there is no real time on when he is back,” Klopp said.
Frank De Boer’s career as Crystal Palace manager could hardly have got off to a worse start with the Dutchman’s side slumping to a 3-0 home defeat to promoted Huddersfield Town.
The scoreline was bad enough, but worse was to come for De Boer when he learned that winger Wilfried Zaha will be out for a month with a knee injury sustained in that opening day clash.
Defender Joel Ward insists there is no lack of confidence among the Palace squad as they attempt to stage a repeat of April’s victory at Liverpool that helped keep them up.
“It’s a transitional stage for us. It’s great, it’s going to be exciting,” he said.
“Obviously the weekend was disappointing, but we’ll dust ourselves down and we’ve got 37 games to make up for it.
“I think we can go there with confidence and the belief that we can do what we’ve done before and take it to them again.”