Jurgen Klopp praised Portuguese playmaker Joao Teixeira for his FA Cup performance versus Exeter, but ultimately suggested the 23-year-old’s future might lie elsewhere.
Teixeira started the game as a playmaker, and ended up on the left wing from where he scored a goal towards the end of the game.
But our German boss suggested that while he’d prefer to carry on working with Teixeira, the attacking midfielder’s future will probably lie elsewhere – because he needs more games at his age.
“I like Joao. As a person, as a footballer – But of course, players like him need matches, and if you can’t get it then you have to leave,” Klopp told his post-match press conference.
“This shouldn’t be my decision. You shouldn’t be a substitute for 3-4 years at this age. I would like to work longer with him, and in four months I’ve seen his jumps in development. He showed tonight he deserved a goal, he worked hard. It was man football he played. Defensively strong, good moments in the offence…
“We are always in talks, but we have to see what he wants, what we want – And in the end it has to fit. It’s not possible that all players stay here, so sometimes you have to leave. I’m not sure this is the situation for Joao. But you are right – he’s a long time now in this position [not in the side]. He did really well in the Championship but came back and wasn’t in the best position. Since I came back he’s a little bit closer, but we’ll have to see.”
We can’t imagine Klopp would be making these comments for no reason, and ultimately accept that we’re likely to see the best of Teixeira outside of Anfield – which is sad – because he’s terrifically talented.
But with the players ahead of him in the Premier League pecking order, his chances are going to be limited – even if we are currently struggling to find the back of the net.
At 23, Teixeira deserves to be starting matches for somebody – probably a lower Premier League side or a good Championship outfit – this much is obvious.
Watch Klopp’s comments below and decide for yourself…