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Jurgen Klopp explains why Liverpool didn’t sign a centre-back in summer

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has admitted the emergence of home-grown teenager Jarell Quansah was behind the choice not to sign a centre-back during the summer transfer window.

The Reds prioritised midfield recruitment ahead of this season, bringing in Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboszlai, Wataru Endo and Ryan Gravenberch to replace the five who left from the centre of the pitch – including Jordan Henderson and Fabinho to Saudi Arabia.

Centre-backs Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips, both of whom have played important first-team roles in the past, were also allowed to leave on loan to clubs in Scotland. At that point, Quansah hadn’t made his debut for Liverpool and it looked like the Reds could be left short defensively.

“Jarell played a super game [against LASK], that’s true,” Klopp reflected in the wake of another impressive performance from the 20-year-old in midweek.

Jarell QuansahJarell Quansah

Jarell Quansah has quickly become an established first-team player / Visionhaus/GettyImages

“That couldn’t be better news for the club, to be honest. I think before this season a lot of people told us we should buy a centre-half. We knew we had Jarell. Did we know that he will show up like this? No, not exactly, but we were pretty hopeful, so the future is bright. It’s cool.”

With Joe Gomez often seen as a back-up for Trent Alexander-Arnold at right-back, Quansah has quickly progressed into Liverpool’s main centre-back rotation.

Virgil van Dijk has typically been partnered by either Ibrahima Konate or Joel Matip in the Premier League, while Quansah’s chances have predominantly been in the Carabao Cup and Europa League. He actually started the season playing 90 minutes for Liverpool’s Under-23 side against local rivals Everton in Premier League 2 before being permanently promoted to the first-team.

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