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'Klopp knows best!' - Henderson backs Liverpool boss over lack of transfer activity

3:00 PM GMT+4 05/08/2019
Jurgen Klopp Jordan Henderson Liverpool 2019-20
The Reds captain says his manager's judgement should be trusted despite supporters' concerns over a lack of new arrivals this summer

Jordan Henderson insists Jurgen Klopp should be trusted despite Liverpool fans’ concerns over a lack of transfer business this summer.

The Reds finished their pre-season preparations with a penalty shootout defeat to Manchester City in the Community Shield at Wembley on Sunday , with Gini Wijnaldum’s miss proving decisive.

They did, however, turn in an encouraging display against Pep Guardiola’s champions, fighting back after a slow start and dominating the second half. On another day, Mohamed Salah alone might have had a hat-trick.

Liverpool get their league campaign underway against Norwich City on Friday, but could go into the new season without a single major summer signing.

Their only arrivals so far have been teenage duo Sepp van den Berg and Harvey Elliott, though they will also bring in a back-up goalkeeper in the shape of Adrian following Simon Mignolet’s £8.2million ($10m) departure to Club Brugge .

Their lack of activity has drawn concern and criticism from some quarters, but Henderson believes the club’s judgement – and in particular Klopp’s – commands respect.

“I think we’ve got a fantastic squad of players,” the captain said. “We’ve showed that. 

“We can use everybody, we’ve got big players coming back from long-term injuries, which is like new signings as the manager says. If the manager hasn’t signed anyone then he knows better than everyone else, for me. 

“We believe we’ve got a strong group in the changing room, a strong team, and we’ve just got to keep learning, keep improving on the training pitch, keep doing what we’ve been doing for a long time now, and keep staying hungry for more success.”

Liverpool, of course, ended last season in glorious circumstances, Henderson lifting their sixth European Cup in Madrid. 

Their league campaign was a remarkable one, finishing on 97 points as runners-up to City, but when asked if they could match that kind of level this season, Henderson was circumspect.

“We can’t always think back to what we did last season,” he said. “We’re looking forward, we want to improve as a team. 

“There were a lot of games last year where we didn’t play particularly well and play as well as we like and we did grind results out at times. 

“Performance-wise, we can be much better and that’s what we’ve got to focus on. We’ve got to focus on each game as it comes, performance has got to be improving all the time, and [against City] second half it did improve. We’ll be disappointed with the first half but second half was more like us."

He added: “I disagree that it will be [just] us two fighting it out for the title, I said before the game there are other teams who’ve improved and they’ll be fighting for the title. So it’s not going to be just us two, it’s going to be everybody. 

“There are 19 other teams in the league that’ll be competing. It’ll be tough, the Premier League will be tough, it always is. You always want to start the season well and it’s no different this year, we want to start well with a performance Friday [and] get a good result. If we keep playing like we did second half, we’ll be okay.”

Liverpool will welcome back Sadio Mane to training on Monday, after the Senegal star’s exploits at the Africa Cup of Nations. Mane is the last of Klopp’s players to return, and will now hope to be in contention for the clash with Norwich.

James Milner missed the Community Shield as a precaution due to a tight muscle and will be monitored closely this week.