Jurgen Klopp has a message for those Liverpool fans who may be disappointed with the club’s activity in the transfer market this summer: building a team is far more important that signing the biggest names. Liverpool has spent 30 million pounds ($40 million) on former Southampton winger Sadio Mane, as well as well as landing German goalkeeper Lorius Karius for around 5 million pounds ($6.6 million) and defender Joel Matip from Schalke on a free transfer. But there has not yet been the star arrivals that have highlighted the transfer business of Premier League rivals Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea.
Klopp, though, insists success is about far more than just which teams spends the most money.
“Everyone expects big names and a big improvement because of big names and if you don't know the players it's like 'what are we doing? what are they doing?’” he said ahead of Liverpool’s preseason friendly against Wigan. "Some clubs have already done a lot but you cannot prove in this moment what's really right.
"They only think Manchester United have taken this player or Manchester City have take this player and we have taken 'what is the name?' and that is it.This moment for us it is about creating and building a team for next year. We have to prove our thoughts about the team works. I am 100 per cent happy with the guys we have brought in until now.”
Having taken over last October, this summer had been expected to be a transfer window in which Klopp significantly overhauled his squad. And there have been signs of that, with this week Jordan Ive joining Martin Skrtel and Kolo Toure in leaving the club.
But a truly exciting arrival has yet to materialize. One man who would have fit that bill is one of Klopp’s former charges, Mario Gotze. Set to leave Bayern Munich this summer after falling down the pecking order, the man who scored the winning goal in the 2014 World Cup final had been strongly linked with Liverpool. However, he now looks set to rejoin former club Borussia Dortmund, with the two clubs said to be in talks.
Still, Klopp may yet have a reunion with a former player. Gotze’s arrival will only increase the probability of experienced winger Jakub Blaszczykowski departing. Already the 30-year-old spent last season on loan at Fiorentina.
Dortmund revealed last week that it was to hold discussions over the player’s future, while German publication Bild has reported that Liverpool could make a deal happen for between five and seven million euros ($5.5 million - $7.7 million.)
Blaszczykowski is not the only industrious wide player to be linked with Liverpool in recent days. Reports in Italy suggest that the Reds also have a keen interest in Inter Milan’s Marcelo Brozovic.
The 23-year-old has only just made his move to the Italian giants permanent after impressing while on loan from Dinamo Zagreb last season. But Gazzetta dello Sport suggests Inter could look to make a quick profit on the Croatia international in order to fund a move for Belgian midfielder Axel Witsel. Brozovic, who would likely cost around 25 million euros ($27.6 million), certainly has the type of work rate and energy that would appeal to Klopp and his high-octane style of play.
With Skrtel and Toure having moved on, Klopp is also likely to target another defender. A potential deal reported by French outlet Le Parisien could make sense for all parties. France defender Jeremy Mathieu, who missed out on Euro 2016 through injury, is likely to find games hard to come by at Barcelona next season after the Catalans recruited defenders Samuel Umtiti and Lucas Digne this summer.
And the 32-year-old could be ideal for Liverpool, given that he can not only player center-back but also at left-back, a position which has often been problematic for the Merseysiders.