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24th Jul 2016

Jurgen Klopp explains exactly why Liverpool signed Alex Manninger

It makes perfect sense...

Robert Redmond

Liverpool signing a 39-year-old goalkeeper, who last played in the Premier League 15 years ago, wasn’t the transfer Reds fans had in mind at the start of the summer.

However, Alex Manninger’s arrival at Anfield could prove beneficial for the club in the long-term. The Austrian ‘keeper, who previously played for Arsenal, signed a short-term contract with Liverpool, joining Jurgen Klopp’s side after a spell with German side Augsburg.

Manninger will be third-choice ‘keeper for the upcoming season, and is unlikely to see playing time unless Liverpool experience a major injury crisis.

However, Klopp has revealed that he has been signed so Liverpool could send their young goalkeepers out on loan.

Danny Ward has joined Huddersfield Town, and Ryan Fulton will be at Chesterfield next season. Both will be first-choice, but, because of a rule change, Liverpool will not be able to recall either from their loan spells during the season.

With Adam Bogdan joining Wigan Athletic on-loan, Klopp was without a third-choice ‘keeper. The Liverpool manager has said Manninger’s experience and professionalism made him ideal to bring in on a short-term deal.

“Alex has played at a high level in his career in the top division in England, Germany, Spain, Italy and Austria for some very big teams – not many people can say that,” Klopp told Liverpool’s official website.

“He brings us great experience and I know that as a person he is someone who every day will show what a great professional he is and will be important for the squad.

“We have sent out some of the goalkeepers on loan and get games, which is important because in this position you only come off the bench if there is an injury or a red card.

“They changed the rules so we cannot bring an U21 goalkeeper back from a team in England during the season if we have a problem, so we had to make a decision – keep somebody back to protect us or bring in someone else who can give us experience and I think this is the best solution to allow others to develop.

“In this way, this is good for everyone and I am really happy that he comes into the group.”

Last season, after some unconvincing displays from Bogdan, Klopp recalled Ward from his loan at Aberdeen. The 23-year-old started Wales’ opening game of Euro 2016, and will return to Liverpool with a season of first-team football under his belt.

If he develops into the commanding goalkeeper Liverpool have been short of in recent seasons, Manninger’s short spell at the club could have long-term benefits for Klopp’s side.

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