Jurgen Klopp is the world-class signing Liverpool have craved
Jurgen Klopp is Liverpool's biggest appointment since Rafael Bentiez, ending the wait for a world-class signing
Jurgen Klopp is the world-class signing Liverpool have been craving for since Luis Suarez’s exit last summer.
The German signed a three-year deal with 18-time English champions on Thursday before he impressed with his grounded manner in his first news conference as Liverpool manager on Friday morning.
Klopp is Liverpool’s biggest appointment since Rafael Benitez took over the reins in 2004, and he arrives at Anfield amid significantly more fanfare than the Spaniard. If he is to learn anything from his predecessors, it should be the value in spending his limited funds wisely.
One of Brendan Rodgers’s critical downfalls in the past 14 months was his failure to sign a world-class name to appease the growing concerns of supporters after Suarez joined Barcelona in a £75m deal in 2014. Instead, he filled the dressing room with a lot of junk.
While the likes of Adam Lallana, Mario Balotelli, Dejan Lovren and Emre Can were promising talents, none fell into the category of top-class like muted target Marco Reus, who was then playing under Klopp. Balotelli and Lovren would be fortunate to get into Aston Villa’s first-team such has been their unconvincing nature of their performances.
Had Liverpool found the funds for the Borussia Dortmund forward or Rodgers managed to persuade the Germany international to Anfield, the Northern Irishman could still be in the job.
But Liverpool have landed an even bigger cog in the Dortmund machine – the brains behind the club’s much-lauded on-field success, Klopp.
While a player like Reus would have certainly helped transform the Reds on the pitch, Klopp has the ability to rebuild all aspects of the club – except the stadium, which is already under construction.
One of Klopp’s major selling points is his global appeal. You know Liverpool have landed a major talent if Sir Alex Ferguson is admitting that he is worried about the club’s potential to become a force under Klopp.
If one of the most single-minded men in football is already convinced by Klopp, the German shouldn’t have too much trouble persuading some special players to join his Reds revolution.
There is an argument to be made that Liverpool haven’t signed an established world-class player since the Premier League’s inception. Fernando Torres arrived under Rafael Benitez and was for a time the Premier League’s best finisher, while Luis Suarez blossomed into the third-best player in the world after he was signed by Kenny Dalglish.
Klopp’s predecessor Rodgers missed out on a host of players who have threatened to break into that top bracket behind Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Diego Costa and Alexis Sanchez are just two of many who eluded Rodgers’s grasp.
The German should be able to reverse this trend if the 48-year-old decides to dig deep into the Anfield coffers.
At his unvieling, Klopp was keen to emphasise that he would have the final say on all transfers, but preferred to sell a player for £100m rather than make a club-record signing.
“It’s a crazy discussion. It was not a problem for 10 seconds. I’m not an idiot. It’s enough that I have the first and the last word – in the middle we can discuss,” Klopp told his first news conference as Liverpool boss on Friday.
“We want to discuss good players on the highest level. I’m not a genius. I need other people to get the perfect information. When we have this we will decide to sign or sell a player.”
The former Dortmund boss saw two players that he had transformed in the form of Shinji Kagawa and Mario Gotze leave in big-money deals during his spell in charge.
Dietmar Hamann has backed Klopp to improve the Liverpool players through his coaching methods, and the new Reds manager spoke with confidence about the squad that he has inherited, suggesting a January transfer splurge may not be necessary.
“The players are better in some cases and younger in some cases,” Klopp added. “I believe in the potential of this team. There are four or five strikers I can work with, experienced defenders, the goalkeeper is really good.
“You can be as good as you want but you have no control over the other team. If they are really good you have to bring them to your level. On your level you can kill any team.”
So Liverpool supporters may have to be patient before the former Mainz head coach lands a special talent that they so crave, but in Klopp, the Reds could have their long-awaited world-class signing.