Changes in rules to the loan system meant Liverpool had to sign an experienced goalkeeper on a short-team deal to provide support for Loris Karius and Simon Mignolet.
Today, 39-year-old Alex Manninger was announced on a one year deal, with Adam Bogdan, Danny Ward and Ryan Fulton sent on loan to Wigan, Huddersfield and Chesterfield respectively.
If Mignolet or Karius had picked up an injury or lengthy suspension, Klopp would simply have brought back one of the youngsters (likely Ward), but new rules state that loaned out Under-21 stars cannot be recalled as before.
“We have sent out some of the goalkeepers on loan and get games, which is important because in this position you only come off the bench if there is an injury or a red card,” Klopp told the Echo.
“They changed the rules so we cannot bring an U21 goalkeeper back from a team in England during the season if we have a problem, so we had to make a decision – keep somebody back to protect us or bring in someone else who can give us experience and I think this is the best solution to allow others to develop.”
Now, Ward and Fulton will get full seasons guaranteed, and hopefully return in a position where we can make a profit on them or perhaps even integrate them into first-team contention. Part of the deal to send them on loan includes a 75% playing time clause, which means they’ll be starters for the campaign.
Bogdan has no future at Liverpool, and the fact Klopp preferred 39-year-old Manninger to the Hungarian as third choice stopper says much about the former Bolton stopper’s abilities…