Liverpool FC – no longer a selling club?

Throughout the Premier League era, Liverpool supporters have had to get used to witnessing their prized assets moving elsewhere, with rival fans often mocking us in the process.

Steve McManaman was, perhaps, the first high-profile post-1992 Reds talisman to leave for pastures new, when he joined Real Madrid in 1999.

Michael Owen also chose to swap Merseyside for Madrid back in the summer of 2004, while Fernando Torres and Luis Suarez opted to leave in big-money moves to Chelsea and Barcelona, respectively, after casting doubts over Liverpool’s level of ambition.

Xabi Alonso and Javier Mascherano joined Madrid and Barca within the space of 12 months, in 2009 and 2010, which was extremely depressing, given just what a world-class midfield duo they were.

Raheem Sterling was Liverpool’s best young English player to emerge since Steven Gerrard, but once again, he chose to head to Manchester City to further his career, rather than take the risk of staying with the Reds.

Even Gerrard himself was inches away from leaving for Chelsea in 2004 and 2005 – a move that would have hurt more than any other in the club’s history.

It is impossible not to wonder where Liverpool might be now if Suarez was still strutting his stuff at Anfield, for example, and all too often, the Reds have seen their star man taken away from them in his prime.

Every year it has felt as though a big name would be on their way out, but in the summer just gone, we saw no such thing.  Things may finally be changing for the better for the first time since the First Division became the Premier League in 1992.

Jurgen Klopp claimed last month that it is not his intention for Liverpool to sell their best players anymore.

The successful teams don’t have to change a lot. There is no need for Liverpool to be a selling club. Nobody calls and says: ‘come on, sell, we need money,” he told the Liverpool Echo.

Klopp is a man to trust. We have seen how honest he is ever since arriving a year ago, and there are no mind games or bullshit involved when it comes to the words that leave the 49-year-old’s lips.

If Liverpool are no longer a selling club with him in charge, that is exactly what will happen. This is such positive news for all concerned, and another huge step forward.

Money is no issue whatsoever at the moment, in terms of having to offload talent, which has often been a problem in the past, and the vast majority of the squad appear happy.

Of course, if a player insists on leaving for a bigger club – there are very few bigger than Liverpool, it should be stressed – Klopp will likely allow them to go, as was the case at Borussia Dortmund, with Robert Lewandowski and Mario Gotze.

Part of his brilliance is having an entire squad pulling in the same direction, and he won’t accept having a bad egg in amongst it, bringing the mood down and affecting team morale.

Hopefully, though, key faces such as Philippe Coutinho, Sadio Mané and Roberto Firmino realise the special work Klopp is doing at Anfield, and commit their long-term futures to the club.

In the past, the likes of Suarez, Torres and Owen will have seen their moves elsewhere as a necessity, due to either Liverpool underperforming or a genuine European heavyweight wanting to acquire their signature.

Now, though, it would feel like a risk leaving such an exciting project – sorry to sound like Brendan Rodgers there – that is very much in its infancy.

The grass isn’t always greener on the other side, and if Coutinho were to join Barcelona, as an example, there is no guarantee that it would pay dividends. Would he play every week? He could easily ‘do a Cesc Fabregas’ and find himself in and out of the side?

You only have to look at Klopp’s former favourite at Dortmund, Götze, to see that a move to a bigger club can backfire.

The question you have to ask is, why would you want to leave Liverpool right now? Playing this level of football, under such a great manager, alongside teammates of such potential. It is match made in heaven for Coutinho, Mané , Firmino et al.

Players at other clubs will be watching on with envy at the things the team is achieving, and while it is still obviously a work in progress, Liverpool are only heading in one direction.

Talk of Liverpool being a selling club will never completely go away until it stops happening over a significant period of time, but with Klopp in the Anfield hot-seat, we should have every confidence that those frustrating days are now a thing of the past.

Written by @HenryJackson87

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