Jurgen Klopp has reiteratd that circumstances this year will dictate that the Reds’ spending power in summer is curtailed and says people should be glad that is the case.
Liverpool spent barely anything last summer, before signing the low-cost Takumi Minamino in January.
Since then, though, the coronavirus pandemic has led to a worldwide shutdown of sport, with no fans allowed into games since the resumption of the Premier League—while on a wider scale, economic uncertainty, job losses and changing consumer spending will all impact football teams.
Despite all that, and the obvious shortfall it will create for clubs, rumours and questions continue to be generated about what Liverpool will do in the market—and the boss made it clear that on Merseyside, we’re dealing with the real-world scenarios which will significantly and directly affect spending.
“Strengthening the squad, you [the media] all always make out like I just ask for it, we open the well and we go,” he told reporters.
“For strengthening the squad you need money; we are in uncertain times. Obviously for some clubs, that means we cannot just do what we would do if the times were not uncertain.
“Can we develop the squad? It’s probably possible, but only with real money.
“We have talents ourselves, big talents and players who can make big steps in our squad but buying now, just going out and asking what you want and we go for it—that’s really difficult.”
Expanding on his point about improving the squad by recruitment, rather than developing the players already at the club, Klopp was adamant that there was a responsibility on all involved to not propagate the idea that clubs could, and should, spend relentlessly.
The boss told journalists that they should “care” about the situation, clearly meaning that the role they played in always asking about new signings and so on had a knock-on effect in over-raising expectations among supporters who somehow expect the club to be clear of the same factors affecting many of their day-to-day lives.
Klopp made it clear there would be a responsible approach, with Liverpool not gambling on money they didn’t know for certain they’d have.
“It was always difficult, we didn’t invest a lot in the squad last year and maybe that’s another year. Nobody knew about Covid before.
“I really don’t understand why the questions are always asked like nobody should care. I hope you all care a little bit more at the moment about investment because we don’t know what it will be, will we have supporters back in the stadium? If you know, please tell me.
“That’s the way the club is led since I’m in. That’s the way.
“If we have money, we will spend. If we don’t know if we have money, we probably will not spend that much. That’s how it is.”
While all the points Klopp makes are spot-on, they can also probably be seen as ‘additional’ expenditure.
Some sales are likely this summer, with individuals including Marko Grujic, Dejan Lovren and Xherdan Shaqiri all potentially bringing in significant funds which might be able to be reinvested in the playing squad.
And if the Reds really can’t sign anyone at all, there’s still a silver lining: this squad has been good enough to become champions of Europe, the world and, finally, the Premier League.