Having been the face of the Liverpool project since arriving in late 2015, Jurgen Klopp promised to turn Liverpool fans from doubters to believers. Standing with a haul of trophies that exceeds everything won in the last fifteen years, Klopp has very much kept up his end of the bargain. A long-awaited league title arrived, as did the UEFA Champions League to go along with the FIFA Club World Cup and UEFA Super Cup. So, Klopp has managed to turn around a club that was seen as nothing more than a development zone for elite talent into a genuine world winner once again. Are cracks beginning to form, though?
If you listen to the English press, you might think so. Recently, former players such as Jamie Redknapp have suggested that Klopp is frustrated with the transfer process at Anfield. Reports from some publications even suggest that he is ‘furious’ at a failure to sign Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli. However, does this really stack up with the reality of how Klopp has acted across his time in England?
Frankly, it sounds like nonsense.
The German spoke recently about how he isn’t the one to spend money and sanction signings at Liverpool. Many jumped on this as a sign of a man who was frustrated at not getting what he wants. And while such a claim might pass the eye test, it absolutely fails if you look closely at anything Klopp has said throughout his career.
Jurgen Klopp and transfers – is he annoyed?
Klopp is likely annoyed at the fact he needs to rely on the market when he prefers to solve things on the training field. Mass injuries in defence led to the arrival of Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies; two solid performers who can easily fill a role for the Anfield club. However, Klopp has pretty much throughout his career been consistent about one thing: he hates dealing with transfer speculation.
At Borussia Dortmund, Klopp made his clear more than once that he enjoyed the freedom to simply coach. Lacking the time to go scouting and negotiating deals, the German has also made clear that he is happily playing the role he does at Liverpool. In fact, he admitted himself that he was sceptical over the arrival of Mohamed Salah until the scouting and analysis team convinced him to do the deal. Does that sound like something a manager who is power-hungry and wants full control would say?
Frankly, previous club legends like Jamie Carragher, and former players like Redknapp, should know better than to accuse Klopp of playing games about transfers in the media. He’s made it clear throughout his career that transfers are a necessary part of the game, but not one that he particularly enjoys. Ever since arriving in England, he’s pointed out numerous times about the obsession with buying players as opposed to improving those already present.
Having been here for over five years now, the most frustrating thing for Klopp is likely the same repetitive transfer window discussions. Not every manager lives and dies by the chequebook; Klopp is probably one of the few to make clear that he does deals when the club has to, not when he wants to.
It’s a shame to see a small divide now being formed around a man who has done so much for Liverpool in a short space of time. Former players might have agendas for making such claims, but it shows a lack of listening and interest in what Klopp says.