Ronnie Whelan: I really don't care about the Champions League - Klopp has got his priorities all wrong
WITH every new twist in what has been a pretty spectacular start to the new season, one thing has become crystal clear. Manchester won the transfer war. Hands down.
Set against the business United and City have done, Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp look like amateurs.
Worse, Ronald Koeman and Everton have been spending like they’ve found a money tree.
From where I’m sitting it looks like we are heading back into the territory Brendan Rodgers found himself in with money from the Luis Suarez/Barcelona deal burning a hole in his pocket back in 2014.
Poor Rodgers looked like a mug when he agreed to sign Mario Balotelli against his better judgement because the club made such a mess of the summer market and missed targets.
It’s worth mentioning that the man on Rodgers’ radar was Mohamed Salah who Chelsea grabbed for £11m after Liverpool spent three months haggling with Basel over a couple of million quid
It cost three times as much to get him this time and that’s not good business.
I’m not saying that another crazy signing like Balotelli is imminent but I am saying that Klopp is heading into the last week of the window with just two signings made.
He has some gaping holes in his squad and by the looks of things, no more money to spend unless they take Barcelona’s offer for Philippe Coutinho.
I can only make that assumption from the fact that Liverpool were in the market for Virgil Van Dijk but don’t appear to have enough to sign him which has been a bit of a theme all summer.
With all of this going on, Klopp has to juggle the demands of the new season and big games coming thick and fast.
Saturday’s win against Crystal Palace was achieved with a new defence, a raft of changes and some decent football. Klopp steadied the ship after the volley of criticism which followed giving away such cheap goals against Watford.
Some of it was a bit hysterical, as it always is early on when rash opinions are fired about like confetti but I think there there is deep frustration among Liverpool fans that the club cannot seem to push on and make the kind of signings a blind man can see that Klopp needs to make.
I think everyone was unsettled by Klopp’s admission that he is not in control of the Coutinho situation but even more worried that Liverpool’s transfer policy seems to drift along.
Everyone can see that Klopp needs better defenders and more goalscoring options up front and yet the biggest transfer story of the last month at Anfield is about a big player leaving.
Klopp made a great deal of the need to ease his players through a busy spell which includes the second-leg of the Champions League play-off against Hoffenheim on Wednesday night
This may sound crazy but I really don’t care about the Champions League. I want to see Liverpool win the Premier League and Trent Alexander-Arnold looks like the type of lad who might help us do that.
But he was rested for a potentially messy Premier League fixture and for me, Klopp has his priorities the wrong way around.