Reds midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum has backed Jurgen Klopp’s decision to rest the senior players in Liverpool’s FA Cup replay against Shrewsbury Town at Anfield next week.
The Reds left the New Meadow on Sunday night with a 2-2 draw, which was not the result Klopp was hoping for, despite the fact he did field a weakened team.
Liverpool managed to gain a 2-0 lead throughout the match. Curtis Jones scored the Reds’ first goal early in the first-half, which was then followed by a Donald Love own goal early in the second-half.
However, a brace from Shrewsbury’s Jason Cummings in the second-half saw the match finish at 2-2, meaning Klopp’s side are forced into a replay.
Klopp has no intentions of playing any of the senior players, as he is looking to honour the inaugural Premier League winter break.
The likes of Joel Matip, Dejan Lovren, Takumi Minamino, Divock Origi and Fabinho played on Sunday night, but not even they will get a look in for the replay.
Klopp also stated that Neil Critchley, who is Liverpool’s under-23 manager, will take charge of the young side that face Shrewsbury Town in the replay next week.
Wijnaldum believes the resting of senior players is the correct call, as it is a long season, which does impact the body in a negative way.
“Since I’ve been in the Premier League I’ve played the season without a winter break but I also know, before I came to the Premier League, how good it is for a player to have some rest,” Wijnaldum told Sky Sports News.
“After the rest you can go again. Your body is more rested than if you keep on going, so that’s a good thing.
“As a player you want to be involved in every game there is but you also have to deal with your body and sometimes your body just says that it is not the right choice to do.
“You just have to see how the situation is but if the manager decides that the younger players are going to play the game then we should accept it.”
The resting of senior players is probably the right call. Liverpool need fit senior players heading into the final set of fixtures within the Premier League and the Champions League.
However, it could be argued that Klopp should at least be in attendance for the replay.
Freelance sports journalist and Red from Melbourne.