Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool won’t consider signing any unvaccinated players due to the “constant threat” they would pose the rest of the squad.
The coronavirus pandemic has caused significant disruptions to the football calendar over the last two years, with strict testing rules now in place to try and limit the spread of the illness.
Premier League cases have risen to an all-time high after the emergence of the new COVID-19 variant omicron leading to a host of fixture cancellations, and Klopp has now come out to stress the importance of vaccinations.
Why does Klopp not want unvaccinated players?
The Liverpool boss has indicated the club won’t look to bring in any players that haven’t been double jabbed when the January transfer window opens.
“I think it will be influential, definitely, in who clubs sign,” Klopp told reporters ahead of his side’s clash with Tottenham on Sunday.
“If a player is not vaccinated at all, he is a constant threat for all of us. He doesn’t want to be a threat, it’s not that he thinks ‘I don’t care about the others,’ but he is.”
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The German added on the logistics of signing an unvaccinated player: “From an organizational point of view, it gets really messy.
“We’d have to find different scenarios. He has to change in a different dressing room, he has to eat in a different dining room, he has to sit in a different bus, he has to drive in a different car. If you really want to follow the protocols, it is incredibly difficult to do.
“If we have to travel to a country to play international football and we come back, he has to get self-isolated, all these kind of things. Of course, it is going to be influential [in signing].”
Klopp raises cup concerns
Klopp also raised concerns over this season’s FA Cup after the EFL reported that around a quarter of their players do not currently plan on getting vaccinated.
Liverpool are set to take on Shrewsbury in the third round at Anfield next month, and he says the risk of COVID-19 transmission will be greater when playing away at smaller clubs.
“We go to FA Cup away games, change in really small dressing rooms,” said Klopp. “That was the situation last year, it’s just not 100 percent thought through.
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“This time we play at home so that’s fine but we have to constantly to think about other things besides football. We play an EFL team at home but others play away and I am not sure how that is sorted because it’s still out here.
‘We have to sort the general problem and that’s why I mentioned it’s not only [about] stopping the league or continuing like usual, there are things in between that we have to sort.”