Jurgen Klopp says he was convinced to sign Dominik Szoboszlai after watching video clips of the Hungary captain as the Liverpool boss talked up the versatility of the in-form midfielder.
The Liverpool moved quickly to secure a deal over the summer after opening initial talks with the player’s EM Sports representatives less than a week before triggering a £60m release clause at RB Leipzig on the final day of its existence on June 30.
Szoboszlai has quickly set about becoming a fans’ favourite on Merseyside with his all-action displays. He has two goals so far for his new club including a thunderbolt of a strike in Wednesday’s 3-1 win over Leicester City in the Carabao Cup..
How Klopp was convinced
Klopp conceded he did not watch too much of Leipzig in the Bundesliga last season but revealed he became sure Hungary skipper Szoboszlai was the ideal addition to his new midfield after video analysis meetings.
“Did the signing go under the radar? I cannot remember a lot of stories about Macca (Alexis Mac Allister) either before we signed him to be honest, we were pretty clear with the players we wanted,” Klopp said. “Henderson and Fabinho [leaving] was surprising at that moment but that does not mean we were not looking for these positions. He had nothing to do with Hendo or Fab leaving.
“He is really good. I don’t think he played the position he plays for us [now] at Leipzig. He played on the wing, as a No.10, more inside, as No.8, a No.6 and a double six as well, so it is really interesting to watch how quickly he adapts and develops. That is really good. We have things to still find out.
“That he has an incredible skill with his shooting that is now obvious but it was not that I watched the Bundesliga every week, each Leipzig game, I saw clips and we played them when he was at Salzburg.
Szoboszlai reaction about the Liverpool transfer
“But it is not that you look too much, but it is clear we were looking for a No.8 and his name came up, watching the videos, it was pretty impressive to be honest, super impressive.
“He played a different role there. They play a 4-2-2-2 very offensive line up, so we start learning. I don’t think he saw himself involved so much build-up, deeper positions
Szoboszlai is good on the ball and that is why we try it.
He can still play on the wing, both wings and he enjoys football,
Szoboszlai is a natural and that is good for us.
“He connects really well with the others and that is nice and now the two goals he scored.
The way he plays I can 100% understand why he creates headlines,
But in the Liverpool dressing room he is a real team player. He has the potential to shine, no doubt about that but loves being with this group as much.”