Speaking after Liverpool’s 4-0 pre-season win over Tranmere Rovers, Jurgen Klopp insisted he is not nervous about their lack of transfer business so far.
While Merseyside rivals Everton have spent almost £100 million so far the Reds boss has signed Roma winger Mohamed Salah for £36.9 million and brought in England U20 World Cup-winner Dominic Solanke after his contract expired with Chelsea.
The likes of both Manchester clubs and Arsenal have all made big-money signings but Klopp is confident in their approach.
“If any fans think, ‘What are the other teams doing and why are we not doing anything’, I can’t help. Sorry,” he said after a 4-0 win at Prenton Park.
“We cannot buy players because other teams buy players. We do our business as good as we can do it and we are convinced about the way we are going.
“Nervous fans? Sorry, I don’t have to write a message for this. I am not nervous—maybe that is the message.”
The one new signing he had available—Salah was not allowed to play as work permit issues need to be sorted out—Solanke enjoyed an encouraging first 45 minutes in a red shirt.
He was initially brought in for the club’s U23 squad but may yet force his way into first-team reckoning.
“He decides that himself. Obviously he is a young lad and it is a long-term project. I have all the time in the world,” added Klopp.
“If he brings a little bit ‘rush’ with his development then everything is good.
“I saw a few wonderful signs tonight and I think everyone in England watched the Under-20 championship—that was fantastic football.
“He is a really skilled boy. He has to improve of course but a lot of things are already really good: first touch, movement.
“It is about him and the situation but I will not avoid his development. In the moment when he is strong enough he is there.
“He will train with us, of course, as often as it makes sense and often as possible and then we will see.”
Solanke had a hand in Liverpool’s third goal five minutes after coming on when his shot was parried by Scott Davies and Pedro Chirivella followed up to score and should have scored himself late on but shot straight at substitute goalkeeper Luke Pilling.
Prior to that James Milner had opened the scoring with a penalty after Sheyi Ojo was brought down by Davies and Marko Grujic, who barely played last season, rifled a low shot just inside Davies’ left-hand post.
Ben Woodburn, the club’s youngest goalscorer, made it four from the penalty spot after being brought down and another positive was captain Jordan Henderson‘s first 45 minutes of action since February after his season was ended by a persistent foot problem.
The Senegal international scored 13 Premier League goals last season despite spending most of January at the African Nations Cup before his campaign was prematurely ended on April 1.
He will most likely resume full training in the next week but is not ready for competitive matches yet and will remain at Melwood when the squad fly out to Asia on Sunday.
“He is really, really good. He is close; he is closing on coming back to team training,” said Klopp.
“In this moment we think it will be when we are in Asia, so then it makes no sense to take him to Asia because he needs to then do the first steps in kind of team training.”