Chris Sutton has slammed Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp following his complaints about the state of Fulham’s pitch.

Klopp’s side began their Premier League campaign with a 2-2 draw at Craven Cottage on Saturday. Following the game, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp slammed the playing conditions in West London, claiming the pitch was too dry.

And, according to Sutton, the Reds manager is simply making up excuses to cover up his team’s inadequacy on the day.

He said: “Jurgen Klopp suggesting Liverpool were held back by a dry pitch at Fulham is up there with football’s worst excuses. Like many bosses, Klopp is armed with a list of excuses when things don’t go his team’s way. Sometimes, a head coach should just say it as it is.”

It remains to be seen whether the Liverpool manager meant what he said. The German is one of the best man-managers in football, which includes defending his team from criticism.

So it’s entirely possible that Klopp diverted attention away from Liverpool’s performance in order to shield them from criticism, instead throwing himself in front of the bus.

Klopp’s side, who are already two points behind Manchester City, return to Premier League action next Monday at home against Crystal Palace.

In other news, Everton believe they have beaten West Ham to another signing following Onana’s hijacking.

Liverpool set to launch bid for Ismael Bennacer

According to Calciomercato (via Liverpool Echo), the Reds will make a €40 million (£33.75 million) bid for Bennacer in the coming days, following Thiago’s hamstring injury against Fulham.

The 24-year-old Algeria international is said to have a £42.2m release clause in his Milan contract.

This contradicts widespread reports that Jurgen Klopp is holding out until the summer of 2023 to bolster his midfield options.

The statistics behind Bennacer show why Klopp might be interested in bringing him to Anfield this summer.

According to FBRef, the 24-year-old ranks in the 99th percentile for dribbles completed, the 94th percentile for interceptions, and the 93rd percentile for tackles over the past year when compared to positional peers across Europe’s top five leagues.

Former Milan star Giuseppe Bergomi has been full of praise for the midfielder in the past, having proclaimed: “Bennacer dominates in the middle on the pitch due to his personality and technical qualities. He finds his team-mates in perfect positions.”

With Klopp’s team lacking options in midfield, Bennacer – dubbed a ‘absolutely unbelievable’ player by journalist Sam Tighe – could be the man to solve Liverpool’s midfield problems if he can be lured to Anfield.