Jurgen Klopp believes Liverpool can still compete with the Premier League’s heavyweight clubs despite a frugal transfer window.
As the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal secured big-money incomings to help spending in the English top flight surpass £1billion for the first time in a single window, Klopp and Liverpool operated more modestly to and concluded their business ahead of the frantic days leading up to Wednesday’s deadline.
So far, the approach has yielded mixed results, with a thrilling opening-weekend win at Arsenal followed by a defeat to newly promoted Burnley and a draw at Tottenham.
Nevertheless, Klopp is confident his approach is the right fit for Liverpool, who recognised the progress made since he succeeded Brendan Rodgers last October by giving him a bumper six-year contract extension.
“In football everybody is under such pressure, all they try to do is keep safe. I make this decision, then this decision, and now I am safe for, what, three weeks?” said the former Borussia Dortmund boss in an interview with the Daily Mail.
“I know about pressure but I don’t feel it. I would never make a decision for how it looks outside, to be safe. Now everyone wants an £80million signing, or just the next signing, the latest signing.
“But I would never buy a player for that — just to do it. We have bought enough, and if I am convinced, I am convinced. It’s for the good of the club, not for the good of me. I’m not that important.
“There are big competitors in this league, but we can’t say, ‘If we had this signing we would beat them, and if not, no chance’. What is that? It is not important that one or two clubs have more than us. It is not important who the best player in the world was last year.
“It is important who will be the best next year. As long as we can be in the race, we have a chance. I am not jealous of anybody else. I’ve never been jealous. I love this game because it is a team game. Trust, faith and togetherness.”
Although the loss itself rankles for Klopp, he believes Burnley’s victory over his team despite having less than 20 per cent possession at Turf Moor proves his point.
“You can beat the best players with a team of less skilled players. That is what I love about football. It is the only game where you can have 80 per cent of the play and lose against Burnley.
“In no other game, in basketball or whatever, could that happen. It’s impossible. I hate it when I am involved, but later I love it.”
Klopp added: “That is what makes football so special. Nothing is predictable. So if you are an optimistic guy, there’s always a chance.”