With the signing of AS Roma goalkeeper, Alisson Becker, confirmed last week for upwards of £60m, there have been endless claims that Jürgen Klopp has backtracked on what he said two years ago when he claimed that he would never spend big, even if he had large financial backing.
The Liverpool manager has shown throughout his career that he has an eye for picking out top European talent for relatively cheap prices, at Mainz and more notably at Dortmund. But how has his transfer policy changed since joining Liverpool? The answer? Not as much as you may think.
Klopp and Sporting Director Michael Edwards, paired with much larger financial backing of FSG in recent windows, have led the way in the transfer market; completing deals for players at unbelievable speed and with unparalleled efficiency, highlighted by the signings of Fabinho from AS Monaco, Shaqiri from Stoke City and Alisson Becker from AS Roma.
Klopp and Edwards’ ruthless transfer strategy has seen previous dominant forces in the transfer market, such as Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United, become usurped by this new breed of Liverpool Football Club. This emerging beast will no longer succumb to the demands of its once superior competitors. Now, Liverpool is the big fish in the pond, and it’s using its overwhelming strength to devour its rivals.
Only in the last year is it apparent that players are being seduced by the exciting undergoing project at Anfield with players such as Virgil Van Dijk opting for Liverpool over one of the greatest sides to ever grace the Premier League in Manchester City, Fabinho passing up the opportunity to play at Old Trafford much to the annoyance of José Mourinho, and most recently Alisson Becker snubbing Sarri’s Chelsea to join The Reds.
The list is growing and will continue to do so in coming windows. The current transfer policy is a mixture of shrewd, unrelenting and charming.
Not only are Liverpool signing players of real quality, but they are being bought for considerably less than their actual market value. For example, one would not hesitate to say that Salah’s value has increased 4-fold in just one season since his arrival from AS Roma in 2017. Although the fees paid for the acquisition of Liverpool’s top players are considerably more than those paid by Dortmund during Klopp’s tenure at the German club, don’t be fooled into thinking that these deals represent a club who are “buying their way to success.”
It is a time in which hyperinflation is becoming more and more prominent in football, with transfers being completed for such astonishing amounts of money which continue to baffle the footballing world in an exponential way, Liverpool have displayed their cunning on several occasions. A prime example was the ingenious manipulation of AS Roma’s financial situation last summer to complete what would become one of the bargains of the Premier League era to date.
Mohamed Salah was bought for £37.8m a year ago. This year, Richarlison is being touted with a £50m move to Everton. A player who has proved much less than the Egyptian had before his move to Anfield. The scrupulous job done by Klopp and the scouting team to identify impressive talent across the continent throughout the season is perfectly matched with the ever-growing financial backing of FSG and the skilful negotiating of Michael Edwards to form the perfect trifecta of pure efficacy.
On the back of the Coutinho money, and the reported £70m earned during the latest Champions League campaign, Liverpool’s balance sheets will be looking significantly healthier than those of the Manchester giants or Chelsea. These fairly substantial outlays have been accounted for and now is the time for investment in the eyes of everyone involved in the club; be you a fan, Jürgen Klopp, Michael Edwards or the owners FSG.
Jürgen Klopp has undeniably increased his spending in recent windows. However, the price tags of transfers he has sanctioned for truly elite players is astonishingly low. A 23-year-old Naby Keïta was purchased for just £52m. It may sound like a lot of money, but when you compare it to Barcelona having bids of £55m turned down by Chelsea for a 30-year-old Willian just a year later, you can start to appreciate that these deals are still bargains relative to other major transfers.
This transfer system is similar to that of Dortmund’s, in which Klopp worked closely with Michael Zorc. It is the driving force of Liverpool’s undeniable ascendency and could be the catalyst for a new wave of glory for the Anfield club. Many people have claimed it to be Liverpool’s “time” in previous seasons and have been proven to be incredibly wrong.
Don’t let those hopeful claims you made scare you into not saying it this time. Ultimately, who cares if Klopp is spending more than he once did? The time is now. Liverpool F.C. are back, and they do mean business.