Tuesday 22 October 2019

Big spending over for now as Klopp states happiness with squad

Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp

Jurgen Klopp believes Liverpool have the squad capable of challenging for Europe's top prizes for years as he ruled out any big-money signings this summer.

Liverpool's £140m (e164m) investment on centre-back Virgil van Dijk and goalkeeper Alisson in 2018 broke the world transfer record for players in their respective positions, but will not trigger a new era of similar spending.

Club owner Fenway Sports Group has focused as much effort rewarding star players, paying out an estimated £150m (e176m) on contract extensions over the past 12 months. Its policy prioritises retention rather than reconstruction, with Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane among those recognised for helping re-establish Liverpool's European status.

"I don't want to talk about exactly what we will do, but I don't think this is a team at the moment where we have to spend the big money or whatever," said Klopp.

"The best way to do it is bring together a group of players, try to develop them all together and then stay together for a while. And that was maybe the main problem of Liverpool for the last decade.

Activity

"When they had a good team after a season they went all over the world. That will not happen this year."

Klopp's comments underline that - so long as the club's biggest names stay - summer transfer activity will be restricted to back-up players, especially as the competition for places in the current squad is increasing.

Liverpool will have Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain fit for the start of next season, expect Naby Keita to improve, and also believe Adam Lallana's influence on the side will grow as he seeks to put injury issues behind him.

Klopp anticipates further improvement in the performance levels of a team which is on course to shatter the club's record Premier League points tally. "It is massive (potential for growth)," he said. "I think the steps are really obvious but it is still about a natural confidence. We have to start looking at ourselves how other teams see us.

"When you think about how Bayern [Munich] faced us here - I saw Bayern playing a lot in the last years but I never saw them being that defensive.

"When Manchester City came here, it was similar. Wow. They had a lot of respect for us but I am not sure we always have the same amount of respect for ourselves. The boys have so much space for improvement in all departments."

Irish Independent

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