Jurgen Klopp‘s summer on comments on transfers have been difficult to interpret, and that’s not necessarily his fault.
The Liverpool man is coming off a UEFA Champions League win and a Premier League campaign which would’ve been enough to finish first in almost any other season, so naturally neutrals and supporters alike have been wondering what Liverpool can do to chase down Manchester City. Klopp even had to rubbish talk of adding Gareth Bale from Real Madrid.
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Klopp has sometimes mentioned that Liverpool has to spend, and used other occasions to play down the idea of the Reds adding anyone at all. Often, he’s now mentioned healthy Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and young Rhian Brewster as additions for the 2019-20 season.
In a feature with The Liverpool Echo, Klopp makes it all a bit more clear: Of course the Reds would add, and even add big, if the right piece was available, but this season is about the Liverpool program and not short-term fixes.
“Having too much quality doesn’t help with the development of players. It’s good for everybody on the outside, because they can say ‘well if he can’t play, then he can play or he could play’.
“You have to create a situation where you need the player, you need the boys. That’s what we try. We have 100% always long-term plans. That’s what is really good about this football club.”
And if this season is, in fact, about making Brewster and Ryan Kent, for example, more regular contributors to the team while continuing the starring roles of 2018-19, then that can fit nicely into a system.
It’s the luxury of having consistency in the ranks, and not plugging holes, which is why Man City, Liverpool, and — maybe — Spurs will have a distinct edge over the first half of the PL season.