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Jurgen Klopp reveals he tried to sign ‘very impressive’ Arsenal midfielder Liverpool face next

The Reds boss has opened up on talks with Martin Odegaard when the midfielder was a teenager.

 

Jurgen Klopp has described Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard as a ‘top player’ and detailed how he tried to sign the Norwegian while in charge of Borussia Dortmund.

 

Liverpool travel to the Emirates on Sunday to take on Arsenal with the roles of the past few seasons completely reversed. The Gunners, who are currently top of the league with seven wins from eight, are showing their best form since the peak Arsene Wenger years. Klopp’s Reds, meanwhile, have won just two from their opening seven in the league after Saturday’s 3-3 draw at home to Brighton.

 

During Liverpool’s 3-0 win at the Emirates in 2021, Klopp was spotted enjoying a long conversation with Odegaard – who was on-loan from Real Madrid at the time – which reignited old rumours before the midfielder signed permanently for Arsenal the following summer. And in an interview with Norwegian media, the Reds boss has opened up on his admiration for the 23-year-old and his attempts to sign him for Dortmund as a teenager.

 

“I really like him [Odegaard]. It’s easy these days,” Klopp told TV2. “It was a bit more difficult at the start of his career when he was at Real Madrid. Then it looked like it might not go his way. I was really disappointed by that, because we wanted him in Dortmund when he was very young.

 

We had a long conversation when he was still a boy, together with his father. In the end he decided on Madrid, and that’s fine, but that’s why I’ve always followed him.”

 

Odegaard failed to kick on at Madrid, likely overwhelmed by the pressure at the Spanish club during the early stages of his career. But a string of loan moves, culminating in his permanent switch to Arsenal, has seen the creative midfielder overcome adversity and develop into one of his club’s most important players – something Klopp is delighted to have seen.

 

“It is very, very impressive,” the German added. “You can only imagine how many talents, huge talents, ‘crazy’ talents, I have seen over the course of quite a while in this industry. At the time, Martin was 15 years old and already playing in Norway. The whole world went berserk.

 

Until he was 15, he probably experienced no hardship. After that, a lot of things went against him. It makes him the person he is now, the man he is now, and the player he is now.

 

“I’m really happy that he has now become the player we all expected him to become. In fact, even better than that, if you will. He plays a massive role in an incredibly strong Arsenal team.”

 

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