Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has defended his teams’ inactivity in the transfer market, saying that big teams have always had stability rather than flashy new additions.
The only new players on Klopp’s staff for the season are teenagers Sepp van den Berg and Harvey Elliot, and backup goalkeeper Adrian, as he kept faith with the men that took the Reds to Champions League glory last term.
The German coach said that the performance in last weekend’s Community Shield, where Liverpool drew with rivals Manchester City over 90 minutes before being defeated in a penalty shootout, was evidence his squad is ready to challenge in the Premier League and Europe next season
“The big teams of the past – and I don’t say we are a big team now, that will be decided in a couple of years – they stay together for a number of years,” Klopp told the media ahead of Liverpool’s Premier League opener with Norwich City on Friday.
“They do not need a lot of changes. I am not comparing us with Barcelona of five, six or seven years ago but they stayed together. A new player came in and struggled and so it was the same players who played again.
“Manchester United had the class of ’92. How long did they stay together? They changed a few after [Eric] Cantona got older and brought in Van the Man [Ruud van Nistelrooy] or whoever. You do not change completely.
“We are a good team together in a very difficult league with a lot of competitors desperate to get the position we are in. Nobody knows how it will look exactly but Sunday showed we will be fine and the rest is what we make of it.”
The Reds picked up 97 points in the Premier League last year, the second-highest mark of all-time, but finished one point behind City.
Klopp expects the league to be more competitive than last year, which he thinks will mean his club may not match last season’s points tally.
“For me, it looks like this season will be different because there was a big gap between the other teams and us and City,” he added.
“It looks like we will all be closer to each other than last season. If that is the case then you cannot get 97 or 98 points. We don’t know in this moment. The only thing we know is that nothing will happen for us in a positive direction if we don’t win our games.
We have to start with that on Friday. Friday for us is deadline day because pre-season is over and now we have to perform as good as possible.”