Jurgen Klopp wants everyone to know that reigning Premier League champions Liverpool cannot compete with Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United when it comes to spending big on new players.
Is this Klopp’s way of trying to ease expectation levels that Liverpool will waltz to another Premier League title this season?
Speaking to the BBC, Klopp defended a lack of transfer spending this summer and said that Liverpool “cannot change that overnight and say ‘now we want to behave like Chelsea'” when it comes to the transfer market.
He then had the following to say about the current financial situation.
“Clubs are in different situations and we are living in uncertainty in the world. For some clubs it seems to be less important how uncertain the future is because they are owned by countries, owned by oligarchs, and that is the truth,” Klopp said. “We are a different kind of club. We reached the Champions League final two years ago, won it the following year and won the Premier League by being the club we are.”
Liverpool have only signed one new player this summer, left back Kostas Tsimikas, and in recent transfer windows have focused on bringing in youngsters they can improve plus bargain buys.
Harvey Elliott and Sepp van den Berg are two of the youngsters they’ve brought in recently, while Curtis Jones and Neco Williams have been promoted from the academy and winger Takumi Minamino has been brought in for a bargain price of $9.3 million in January.
Klopp is going to continue doing things his way, and why not?
“We always want to improve the squad but there are different ways – one way is to sign new players and the other way is to work together, improve the things you were good in and try to nullify the things you are not good in. That is football. No-one wants to talk about training and only about signings,” Klopp added.
There is such a scramble around the transfer window that we often got caught up in who has spent the most money and which players are earning the most. But as Klopp mentions, soccer is about much more than that, and his squad is still looking very strong. The owners, Fenway Sports Group (FSG), have provided plenty of cash in recent years to buy Virgil van Dijk, Alisson and others, so Klopp can’t complain about not being backed and Liverpool were so far ahead of the competition in the Premier League last season.
That said, Liverpool did struggle in the final weeks of the 2019-20 season after finally securing the Premier League trophy for the first time. Over the summer they’ve looked a little sluggish in preseason and lost to Arsenal in the FA Community Shield, and many have Manchester City down as favorites to win the title.
Man City have bought Nathan Ake and Ferran Torres, while Chelsea’s big spending is well documented and even the likes of Tottenham, Arsenal and Man United have all bought new players. Liverpool are the lowest spenders of the ‘big six’ this summer but links to Thiago Alcantara continue as he could replace Georginio Wijnaldum if he departs. But there are no big plans to splash the cash.
Simply put, not adding a few players to strengthen your squad is a risk but Klopp knows what he is doing and it seems like he would rather improve his current squad than buy needlessly. Given his recent success, can you argue with that?