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Klopp has spent big but has spent smartly - bringing in right talent to attain glory


Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson. Photo: PA

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson. Photo: PA

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson. Photo: PA


The gloss hasn't even been applied to the stage for Liverpool's title trophy celebration and some outsiders have tried to pick away at the paint.

"Look at the money they spent" is sneered and spat through gritted teeth - break transfer records to sign the most expensive goalkeeper and defender in the world and the league is more or less yours.

Sniping from the sidelines won't bother anyone in a red shirt today, be they club staff or supporters. That perch has not had a Liverpool presence for a long, long time and the incumbents will enjoy resting on it, gazing down on all the rest with sheer glee.

Money can buy players but it doesn't always buy good ones.

Good players don't always become great ones.

And Liverpool FC, but Jurgen Klopp in particular, have managed to get both right.

His team won the league on the field but so much of the groundwork for that success was done by Klopp, his eye for players and his desire to get the best out of what he has available.

It's not chequebook football, it's more like football with a conscience.

That may sound hollow when Klopp is afforded the luxury to spend €140million on just two players.

But the outlay on Alisson (right) and Virgil van Dijk looks like an utter bargain given what one rival later spent on Paul Pogba and Harry Maguire.

Klopp spent big but spent well. Manchester United panic bought and were ripped off.

No manager, in any industry, has a blemish-free record in terms of hiring people.

There's hardly a bar, hotel or factory in Britain or Ireland where the person in charge hasn't groaned when putting through the payroll, wondering how someone so lazy and incompetent can get paid for not doing a job.

Football is the same, and Liverpool are no exception. In fact, some fans, with a twisted sense of loyalty, spend more time thinking about their club's flops than their favourites.

Worst ever to wear the shirt in our lifetime? I'll see your Frode Kippe and raise you a Bruno Cheyrou.

Are you having a Sebastian Leto or a Philipp Degen? How can you forget Charles Itandje.

Even excusing earlier unwanted souls like Jimmy Carter and Julian Dicks, flops were such a frequent occurrence under Gerard Houllier and Rafa Benitez that picking a Worst XI from those two reigns was hard because there were so many of them.

If one player sums up the chaos that was Liverpool's transfer policy then, it was Ukrainian striker n.

He didn't cost Liverpool a fee but, boy, did he cost them in wages, delivering six goals in three years.

Of all the 'greats' who were on the Liverpool books in recent times, it was Voronin's presence there which particularly annoyed a one-time club great, John Aldridge.

"You don't mind the top players like Gerrard, Torres, Rooney and Ronaldo getting the top wages," Alridge once said.

"They deserve it because they bring a lot of cash into the game. It's when you see the likes of Voronin that it becomes disgusting."

Klopp has had some purchases that didn't work out, like Loris Karius and Dominic Solanke, but he's allowed a few blotches because the rest of his work is so spotless.

Alisson has grown in confidence at Anfield while rivals like David de Gea and, at times, Ederson look low on self-belief.

Van Dijk is seen as one of the best defenders in the world while Maguire, more expensive, is not even the best defender at Old Trafford.

Other managers panic but Klopp plans.

"To improve the team is not easy with reasonable money. With crazy money, you always can do it, you pay whatever you want, then it's possible," Klopp said last year,

"We are really wealthy but we cannot do what some other teams are doing. We have to find solutions during the season. Yes, you find sometimes the solution in the transfer market but otherwise you have to find the solutions on the training ground and that's what we do now."

Klopp takes in good players and makes them great. He sees it as his duty to improve them as people, not just players.

Those players then attach a loyalty to Klopp which someone like Louis van Gaal could never dream of.

Their funds allow Klopp to buy players he likes but it's his eye for talent, and his ethos of 'Being Better' which wins people over, and wins trophies.

He trusted his eye and his players, in Klopp they trust, a winning formula.