Many have spoken previously about Jurgen Klopps transfer policy. He has a fresh approach to transfers, wanting to create rather than buy superstars.
Wanting players to join him from the start of his adventure, putting the hard work in from the start and helping to create the success, rather than hoping to jump on the ‘glory bandwagon’ further down the line.
Klopp has openly expressed his dismay at the culture of trying to buy your way to success through big transfers, describing this philosophy as almost unique to the English game.
Back in April 2016 Klopp made a bold statement regarding transfers. With his first summer transfer window shortly upon him the rumour mill was in full swing, Mario Gotze was a firm press favourite to be reunited with Klopp.
Klopp though, was quite clear about what he expects when he approaches a potential target.
“So if I would speak to a player now and he would tell me ‘if you were playing in the Champions League next year, I would be really interested’ then I would put the phone down from my side. I always tell players if when you are 35 or 36 and look back on your career and you think about the one year you didn’t play Champions League then you are really a poor boy. There are so many things you can do and reach if you go together with the team. You can qualify for the Champions League, play Champions League, maybe win it or whatever. It is a much more satisfying thing than all the rest. That is what I would say. It is pushing the train, not jumping on the running train. That is what we need here. If somebody says to me ‘you don’t play Champions League next year’ then it’s ‘goodbye!’ and ‘thank you, have fun next year wherever you will be’. We will find players or we have players already that will go our way.”
In short, if Klopp phones you and asks if you want to play for Liverpool, the answer should be ‘yes’, not ‘well if you were in the Champions League…..’
It’s a mentality that, as fans, we share. Every player should be honoured that a club like Liverpool are interested in them and not that they are doing us a favour by signing that lucrative contract; sadly in modern football this is no longer the case. Klopp made a bold gamble with his statement, one I was fearful would back fire on him.
That summer saw, for many, a disappointing transfer window. Many of the ‘big names’ we were linked to did not materialise, no true marquee signing. This against a back drop of Manchester United, Manchester City & Chelsea spending more money than ever before.
Many Liverpool fans were rightly concerned that we were about to spend another season playing catch up, as teams that were above us last season pushed on and become stronger.
Three months into the season and how things have changed.
Sitting pretty at the top of the league whilst playing the most entertaining football in the league, Klopp has shown how his philosophy of ‘team is everything’ has paid dividends.
Wherever we finish in the league this season, we are witnessing the start of something special.
Given the events of last summer, I’d bet there are several players sat there now wishing they hadn’t messed Klopp about when they had the opportunity to join his team. I don’t believe Klopp will approach them again, they’ve missed their opportunity.
With the January transfer window around the corner, I’m sure there will be many players sitting there hoping to hear their phones ring.
As a fan, I love his philosophy. I want players who want to play for Liverpool. I don’t want players who just want to play for a Champions League club.
We are Liverpool, the best club in the land. Be thankful if you ever get the opportunity to share in that.
Written by @lebigmc5times