Belfast Telegraph

World Cup 2018

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Klopp hails the squad depth at Pool as the best he's ever seen

By Carl Markham

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes his current squad is the strongest he has ever worked with.

Despite the sale of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona for £142m last month, the former Mainz and Borussia Dortmund boss admits the group of players at his disposal is making life difficult in terms of leaving people out.

Last Wednesday's 5-0 thrashing of Porto in the last-16 of the Champions League was achieved without suspended Emre Can and long-term injured Nathaniel Clyne but - even so - there was no room in the match day 18 for Dominic Solanke, Ragnar Klavan and Ben Woodburn, the youngest scorer in the club's history.

"It's really hard at the moment to make the squad," said Klopp. "I've never had a situation like that with the quality of the players not being in the squad.

"They all have made really big steps. Dom Solanke was not in the squad but is in outstanding shape. Ragnar Klavan, unbelievable. Ben Woodburn makes steps and is really close to everything.

"It's getting more and more difficult, but that's good."

Striker Danny Ings was one of the players to come off the bench, and it was just the 25-year-old's sixth appearance of the season after making his comeback from two serious knee injuries in the previous two campaigns.

"Danny is in fantastic shape. It takes time. Now, after two and a half years, he can play in the Champions League. It's a wonderful story, it's deserved," added Klopp. "Is Danny knocking on the door for the first team? Yes, absolutely. It's good."

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