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Jurgen Klopp presented with three timely boosts to address 'desperate' Liverpool issue


Liverpool cannot get carried away by their resounding FA Cup victory over Shrewsbury Town, but there were key positives for Jurgen Klopp during a challenging spell for the Reds

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Liverpool v Shrewsbury pictures

January was always going to be a difficult month for Liverpool, but they can be happy with their first result since losing Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane to international duty.

The Reds came from behind to outclass Shrewsbury Town in the FA Cup on Sunday, setting up a fourth-round clash with Cardiff in early February.

Of course, the 4-1 scoreline was nothing to get carried away about given Shrewsbury ply their trade in League One and arrived at Anfield as huge underdogs.

Nonetheless, there were plenty of tangible positives for Klopp to take away from the third-round encounter, chief among which was the record-breaking performance of Kaide Gordon.

The 17-year-old forward became the youngest FA Cup goalscorer in Liverpool’s history to equalise after Daniel Udoh’s surprise opener for the visitors.

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Kaide Gordon scored his first senior goal against Shrewsbury Town
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Image:

AFP via Getty Images)

Having made just one senior appearance ahead of the tie, Gordon capitalised on his opportunity in attack with a well-taken finish from fellow academy star Conor Bradley’s cross.

The teenager has been named on the bench for two Premier League games this season and Klopp may seriously consider unleashing him against Arsenal in the Carabao Cup in midweek or handing him a top-flight debut against Brentford on Sunday.

“That’s Kaide, that’s Kaide,” Klopp said of Gordon’s composed strike. “That he is in these situations really calm, I will not say that for the rest of his career in these situations he will always score, but I’m pretty sure more often than not because that’s just him.”

Gordon has certainly given Klopp something to think about as Salah and Mane represent Egpyt and Senegal respectively at the Africa Cup of Nations, with the latter scoring a late winner in his country’s opener against Zimbabwe on Monday.

In a further boost for the Liverpool manager, his frontline was strengthened by timely returns for Roberto Firmino and Takumi Minamino.

Firmino recovered from coronavirus in time to score a late goal against Shrewsbury, a sublime backheel, while Minamino also came off the bench having missed the Reds’ last two games with a minor muscle injury.







Takumi Minamino made his return against Shrewsbury Town to increase Jurgen Klopp’s options
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PA)

Klopp did not hold back as he emphasised the “desperately” important role the Japan international will have as Liverpool search for solutions in attack.

“I liked Taki a lot when he came on. He’s actually in a really good shape but, of course, the injury interrupted it slightly, that’s how it is,” the German said. “But now he’s back, it’s good and we need him desperately.”

With Divock Origi ruled out with a knee injury, Klopp’s options up front remain severely limited, but the situation no longer looks so bleak.

It is now up to Minamino, Firmino and Gordon to support Diogo Jota and replicate their fine FA Cup performances in the games to come.

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