Jurgen Klopp is ready to ban his players from going on international duty later this month, if they have to quarantine for 10 days after.
It’s been a tough season for everyone, with so many games in such little time inevitably leading to injuries, and no one has been as hard hit as Liverpool.
The Reds have lost several players for a long period, including Joe Gomez who picked up a season ending injury whilst on international duty.
With World Cup qualifiers starting later this month it’s not only injuries that managers have to be wary of. Due to many countries being ‘red listed’ players returning from them will have to quarantine from 10 days on return.
That would likely mean missing a Premier League games and potentially games in Europe, something Klopp is understandably not prepared to have happen.
“I think everyone agrees we cannot let the players go and play for their country and come back and quarantine for 10 days in a hotel, that is not how we can do it,” the German said in his pre match press conference.
“FIFA was kind of clear that we don’t have to let the players go this time, and I think all the clubs agree that with the same problems we cannot just let the boys go.
“We can’t just wait to sort the situation when they come back by placing our players in a 10-day quarantine in a hotel, it is just not possible.”
International sides played games in September, October and November but haven’t had any games since and the Euros are just a few months away.
Teams won’t have their players available again, after the end of this month, until the summer, just ahead of the tournament starting.
Klopp though has called for players to show loyalty to their clubs and not the national teams, adding, “I understand the need of the different FAs, but we have to admit the players are paid by the clubs so it means we have to be first priority.
“This is a time where we cannot make everyone happy. We are not 100 per cent sure as some countries may decide to change the venues they play and go to non-red zone countries.
“The whole situation is similar to the Champions League in terms of where we play and you have to wait until the last second. We cannot be influential in it. We just deal with what other people decided.”
Whilst the former Borussia Dortmund is the first manager to say that he won’t let players go on international duty, it will be surprising if he’s the last.
If England players returning on the 28th, from the game against Albania, had to quarantine then they would be missing for Liverpool’s game with Arsenal as well as a potential Champions League quarter final.