By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Jurgen Klopp has issued a thinly veiled dig at Jerome Sinclair as the striker prepares to join Watford following a contract stand-off with Liverpool.
The manager has warned Liverpool’s young players to think carefully about how they plot their careers as he prepares to field another team of novices in the FA Cup.
Liverpool scrambled a 2-2 draw with Exeter when the sides first met in the third round and one of those goals was scored by Sinclair, who has told the Merseysiders he is leaving after snubbing several contract offers from the club.
With Jordan Rossiter, Joao Teixieria and Jon Flanagan – who will be back in the squad on Wednesday after nearly two years out – also out of contract in the summer, Klopp has told them not to just chase the money in the early years of their careers.
Asked about Sinclair’s link to Watford, Klopp said at his media conference on Tuesday: “Nothing to say about this. Jerome is a very young player, he has skills, he is a very good shooter but physically it is not easy for him in the centre position in a Premier League game against 6ft 4 defenders to survive. But he is very young and he can develop, of course.”
Expanding on the theme, Klopp continued: “As a club you cannot make younger players happy. That is not possible. It is not the first job. Like in normal life – if it is not easy for you to be happy then no-one can help you.
“It is more important to get the real education and that is what we want to try. For this you always need a lot of things.
“I like Jerome he is a real talent and if he wants to stay with us no problem. Absolutely no problem. If not, we cannot force it. I am fine with the situation but first of all you need young players who want to learn.
“If we can create a situation where they feel it is the right place to learn then everything is good. That is what we try for next season, we cannot do it now.
“It is too big a rush, leaving on loan, coming back, that is what we want to do for the future.
“As long as he is here he is a Liverpool player, absolutely no problem but I cannot make decisions for them.
“We can only offer things and first we need to offer education and training and the possibility to work together with the best coaches and best players we have. Then it is up to the players.”