Liverpool transfers: Jurgen Klopp needs world-class signings, says John Barnes
John Barnes says Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp needs to add couple of world-class signings to his squad
John Barnes says Jurgen Klopp needs some special signings to transform Liverpool into Premier League title contenders.
The 48-year-old German signed a three-year deal with the Merseyside outfit on Thursday evening before he was unveiled to the British media on Friday morning.
If he keeps this squad for the next four years, do we think this team is good enough to challenge for the league? I think it is good enough for the top four, but to win the league we need special players
Klopp, who led Borussia Dortmund to two Bundesliga titles in 2011 and 2012, is Liverpool’s eighth manager in the Premier League era.
While Barnes believes Liverpool are a powerful team which will suit Klopp, the former Reds captain says the Merseyside outfit are a few players short.
“Jurgen Klopp is a great manager but we’ll have to give him time to create a team. Is this Liverpool team good enough to win the league as it stands? No it’s not,” Barnes told talkSPORT.
“He can make an instant impact. What we know from the first three games of the season is that this Liverpool team has a lot of energy, they’re fit, strong and physical. Apart from Coutinho, who gives us that star quality in terms of invention and flair, we probably don’t have the quality of other big teams, but we’re a very powerful team, and Klopp likes powerful teams.
“But are we going to be able to complete with Manchester City and Chelsea with the players we have now? If he keeps this squad for the next four years, do we think this team is good enough to challenge for the league? I think it is good enough for the top four, but to win the league we need special players.”
Liverpool will face Tottenham Hotspur in Klopp’s first game in charge of the Merseyside club.
Jurgen Klopp fact-file
• Having spent his early playing career in the lower leagues and failing to break into Eintracht’s first team, Jurgen Klopp turned professional with Mainz, starting off as a striker before becoming a no-nonsense defender. Never played in the top flight but made 325 second-division appearances from 1990 to 2001, setting a club record by scoring 52 goals.
• Klopp was appointed Mainz’s caretaker coach on 28 February 2001, helping the club avoid relegation to the third tier. Duly won a permanent contract and built Mainz into one of the strongest clubs in the 2. Bundesliga; narrowly missed out on promotion in 2002 and 2003, Mainz losing out to Eintracht by a single goal in the latter campaign.
• Finally took Mainz into the top flight for the first time in 2004 and kept them in the Bundesliga until 2007, taking them into the 2005-06 Uefa Cup via the Fair Play ranking – they lost to eventual winners Sevilla in the first round.
• After another promotion near-miss in 2007-08, Klopp – whose enthusiasm and passion, plus work as a TV pundit, have made him popular all over Germany – left for Dortmund. Took them to sixth in his first season, led them into the Europa League the next year and then, with a squad full of exciting young talent, oversaw league title wins in 2010-11 and 2011-12, adding the German Cup in the latter campaign.
• Earned even greater admiration in the 2012-13 season as he steered Dortmund all the way to the Champions League final at Wembley, where they lost to Bayern Munich. Dortmund reached another domestic cup final in 2014, but again came up short against Bayern.