LEICESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, July 30, 2022: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp before the FA Community Shield friendly match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City FC at the King Power Stadium. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jurgen Klopp’s “power is increasing” in transfer decisions, claims journalist

With Liverpool’s recruitment structure in upheaval as Julian Ward departs, one journalist has claimed that Jurgen Klopp‘s “power is increasing.”

The club remain in the process of appointing a new sporting director ahead of Ward’s imminent exit, which comes at a time of major rebuilding of the squad.

At least four senior players are on their way out, including Roberto Firmino, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, while Liverpool are expected to sign three new midfielders.

Further additions could come at centre-back and in the goalkeeping ranks, while more surprises cannot be ruled out at this stage as the Reds face a season without Champions League football.

It is not the ideal time for the man in charge of transfers to be leaving, but that is the situation Liverpool have been dealt with.

According to The Athletic’s David Ornstein, speaking to NBC Sports, Klopp’s “power is increasing” when it comes to transfer decisions.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, May 25, 2022: Liverpool's Director of Football Michael Edwards (R), Chief Scout Barry Hunter (M) and Sporting Director Julian Ward (L) during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Champions League Final game between Liverpool FC and Real Madrid CF. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

That, in the period between Ward’s departure and his successor’s arrival, will be alongside the likes of head of recruitment Dave Fallows, chief scout Barry Hunter and Fenway Sports Group president Mike Gordon.

There has long been a sense that Klopp’s influence has held more sway in the boardroom in recent transfer windows, which has been a concern.

The manager is said to have pushed hard for the signing of Darwin Nunez, for example, while assistants Pepijn Lijnders and Vitor Matos have been consulted for deals over the likes of Luis Diaz and Cody Gakpo.

While those signings are likely to shape Liverpool’s attack for years to come, other decisions have been more of a worry.

One of those, as touched upon by Sky Sports‘ Melissa Reddy last week, was Klopp’s personal intervention during talks over a new contract for Jordan Henderson in 2021.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, October 11, 2022: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson (L) and manager Jürgen Klopp (R) during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group A matchday 4 game between Glasgow Rangers FC and Liverpool FC. (Pic by Jessica Hornby/Propaganda)

Henderson was courting interest from Atletico Madrid and PSG with two years left on his previous deal, before putting pen to paper on an extension to 2025.

Reddy claims that figures within the club’s recruitment staff had flagged concerns that the squad was “veering away from the ‘right football age’.”

The captain’s output is now waning, but Liverpool have committed to improved terms until beyond his 35th birthday – one of a number of questionable calls ahead of this summer’s midfield revamp.

This growth in power seems to extend beyond personnel, too, after plans for a pre-season tour in the United States were nixed.

It would be wrong to question Klopp’s eye for a player, but it should be pointed out that, for example, before the club signed Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, his preferred targets were Mario Gotze and Julian Brandt.

A marriage between the confident analytics of Ward’s predecessor, Michael Edwards, and Klopp’s own judgment appeared to be the perfect fit for Liverpool.