Jurgen Klopp feels Liverpool are no longer a pathway to bigger clubs and better opportunities, but a destination in their own right.
Sadio Mane’s contract extension to 2023 earlier this week, following new deals for both Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah, is viewed by Klopp as evidence of Liverpool’s resurgence.
Anfield witnessed an exodus of top talent over the past decade, with the likes of Luis Suarez, Raheem Sterling, Xabi Alonso, Fernando Torres, Javier Mascherano and Philippe Coutinho all departing in their prime.
The recent commitment to stay from Liverpool’s attacking triumvirate, according to Klopp, indicates the Reds are better placed now, though.
“If a player is in a very good moment in his career and you can extend the contract, it’s more than just a signing, it’s a statement. I’m happy about that,” he said.
“It shows a bit of the change the club made in the last few years. A few years ago it constantly happened that players in a very good moment thought they had to leave the club to make the next step. Now our boys obviously think they can make the next step here. That’s good.”
After Coutinho’s move to Barcelona in January, Klopp is adamant, despite the greater financial means of some other clubs, that Liverpool have both an ability to compete and provide a good playing environment.
However, the need to stay competitive is paramount.
“It’s a statement for us in the situation. We all know that these players could earn a lot of money at a lot of clubs around the world. It’s not about that,” Klopp said.
“It’s about do they think they are in this moment at the right club. It’s obvious that they think that so that is good.”
“Now we’re in a situation where players don’t want to leave, we need to perform constantly at our highest level – that’s the next challenge.”
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