With a bench as thin as it has ever been, Liverpool’s chances of securing a spot in next season’s Champions League was handed even more of a blow with Reds boss Jurgen Klopp confirming that pacey winger Sadio Mane could very well miss the rest of the season after picking up a knee injury in Saturday’s win over Everton.
“The problems we had in January and February, the injury of Phil in November. Sadio in January, Danny Ings, Daniel Sturridge, should we have another striker or winger? Yes. It felt like this in other moments,” said the German manager. “Next year with more games we need more options, that’s clear,” added Klopp, reinforcing earlier comments and going on to give credence to the rumours that he’ll be handed a massive transfer budget during the summer. “Of course, we will bring in players. The squad will change in a few positions.”
Just how drastically it’ll change will almost certainly depend on whether or not the Reds are once again playing in Europe’s premier club competition. With eight matches left, they’ve got a what might be considered a relatively easy run in to the close of the season, but that means absolutely nothing considering how consistently inconsistent they’ve been against teams in the bottom half of the table — and having Mane out for an indefinite period of time won’t do anything to make things any easier.
“Losing Sadio on Saturday was like ‘oh my God’. Can’t we have one day where everything is perfect?” said Klopp, bemoaning his bad luck. “The knee is swollen. We wait for the final assessment. It’s possible [his season could be over] but why should I say that now?” added the German, trying to stay positive. “Everyone would miss Sadio,” explained the Liverpool boss, stressing just how important the Senegalese attacker has been for the side. “Southampton probably still miss him, Salzburg still miss him…”