‘Bobby is one of the young players that we really care about’: Jurgen Klopp speaks out on row between Liverpool and Duncan and vows to help youngster resolve issues
Jurgen Klopp has admitted that Bobby Duncan’s dispute with Liverpool is ‘difficult’, although tensions between player and club appeared to cool on Friday.
Klopp spoke for the first time regarding the explosive claims made by Duncan’s agent, Saif Rubie, who has accused the club of stopping the 18-year-old going out on loan.
He claims the player’s mental health has suffered as a result of the stress of the situation, as Sportsmail was first to report on Wednesday.
Jurgen Klopp insists Liverpool care deeply about highly-rated youngster Bobby Duncan
On Friday, Klopp acknowledged the sensitivities of the matter. But the Liverpool manager, who had included Duncan in his pre-season plans, called on the teenager to be patient in his quest for senior opportunities.
‘It’s really difficult,’ Klopp said. ‘Bobby is one of our young players we really care about. We are especially sensitive with our young players. We want to do the right things. Not only young players, but all players in football… We need to do the right things, all the different parties, and everything will be fine.
‘You have to make it step by step if you are not Lionel Messi at 17, ready to play for Barcelona. You don’t see that very often.
Duncan has been subject of interest from Fiorentina and FC Nordsjaelland this summer
Duncan broke his silence after his agent’s row with Liverpool, but instantly deleted it
‘Patience in the right way, in a football way. Being ready for making all the steps you need to do, training hard, playing at the next level, doing what the coach tells you and everything is fine.’
There were signs on Friday of a thaw between club, agent and player. Rubie’s statement had claimed Duncan would not return to Liverpool, and the teenager removed all references to him being a Reds player from his social media.
On Friday, pictures of him in action for Liverpool were re-posted on his Twitter and Instagram accounts.
The Professional Footballers’ Association have started enquiries into the case, while lines of communication between the club and Duncan have re-opened, with a view to him returning to action.
Duncan toured the US with Liverpool during pre-season but is far down the pecking order
Duncan is not expected to play in Saturday’s Under 23 game against former club Manchester City. But he could report for training at some point next week – provided he does not leave Anfield before the European transfer window closes.
Fiorentina and Nordsjaelland are among the clubs interested in the striker and they could launch further moves for Duncan, who has been keen to leave Liverpool to get first-team action.
Klopp takes his league leaders to Burnley today in search of a club-record 13th consecutive league win.