Jurgen Klopp explains why he left ‘amazing’ prodigy warming the bench in Liverpool’s derby defeat

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Jurgen Klopp has explained why he didn’t turn to one Liverpool youngster during the 2-0 defeat to Everton on Wednesday night.

With Diogo Jota injured and Cody Gakpo unavailable as his partner had gone into labour, Jayden Danns was among the substitutes at Goodison Park, but he remained on the bench for the entire match despite the Reds misfiring in the final third.

Speaking to reporters after the game, the manager explained why he didn’t call upon the 18-year-old when his team were in need of a cutting edge up front.

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Klopp said (via liverpoolfc.com): “I know we had Dannsy on the bench, but we didn’t know we had to bring him in [to the squad] because of the two situations – with Diogo we only learned two days ago [about his injury] and with Cody actually today really.

“That’s now not a game for an 18-year-old boy. [James] Tarkowski and [Jarrad] Branthwaite kill you in these situations and it doesn’t help. A lot of things came together [and] it’s not great timing, I admit that.”

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When watching Mo Salah and Darwin Nunez struggle to offer any threat to Everton last night, Liverpool fans may well have been wondering why Klopp didn’t just roll the dice and throw Danns into the fray to try and repeat his two-goal salvo against Southampton in the FA Cup two months ago.

Indeed, The Athletic‘s James Pearce described it as ‘baffling’ that the teenager – who Roy Keane dubbed ‘amazing‘ following that cup brace in February – wasn’t called into action, given the travails of the Reds’ starting forward line.

The manager usually hasn’t been slow to give youth its fling at Anfield, albeit sometimes through necessity, although his fears that the 18-year-old would find it hard to cope with the physicality of Everton’s towering centre-half duo are somewhat understandable.

Klopp has effectively admitted that he wouldn’t have had Danns in the squad if either Jota or Gakpo were available, yet we still can’t help but feel that the youngster would’ve been a worthwile wildcard option to utilise in the circumstances.

Alas, the German saw it differently, and to be fair to Liverpool’s number 76, it was the type of game that there shouldn’t have felt a need for him. That’s on the profligacy of the Reds’ far more experienced starting front three, although Luis Diaz was the one player who offered some bit of a threat to the Toffees.

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