Jurgen Klopp insists Liverpool “really care about” Bobby Duncan and has spoken to the teenage forward following his agent’s comments about the way the club have treated the player.
Saif Rubie, Duncan’s representative, claimed on Wednesday that Liverpool had blocked a transfer away and singled out sporting director Michael Edwards for showing “zero consideration” for the youngster’s wellbeing.
Liverpool described the allegations as “inaccurate” and “inflammatory”, with Klopp urging the 18-year-old to remain patient.
“We already have an official statement from the club. But what I can say is Bobby is one of the young players that we really care about,” he told reporters at Friday’s news conference.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) August 30, 2019
“That’s all I can say. I know that we are like this as a club. In football, sometimes contract things can be a problem. That’s a normal situation in all age groups.
“But with young players we are especially sensitive. We have to do the right things, all the different parties.”
Asked if he had spoken with Duncan, a cousin of club legend Steven Gerrard, Klopp replied: “Of course.
“A general thing, nothing to do with Bobby Duncan, is the players have [a lot of] benefits. The big problem they could have is they lose patience.
“If you’re not [Lionel] Messi, you have to take it step by step. It’s really about patience. That’s how it is. A young player has all the benefits.
“Being ready for things, making the right steps doing what the coaches tell you to do.”
— Premier League (@premierleague) August 26, 2019
Liverpool have won their opening three Premier League matches and this weekend take on Burnley at Turf Moor, where Xherdan Shaqiri is once again expected to be part of the matchday squad.
He has been an unused sub in each of the Reds’ league games so far this term, but Klopp insisted there is no problem between him and the Switzerland international.
“Shaq is training well,” he said. “That’s the first four weeks of the season, that’s the situation, that’s how it is.
“That’s probably the hardest period for players who are not yet playing. We will need him. He knows that 100 per cent.
“Is he the happiest player in the squad at the moment? I don’t think so. Can I see that on the training pitch? No.
“He is in a good mood and training hard, doing what he has to do and is ready for the moment when he has to help the team on the pitch.”
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