Following Manchester United’s purchase of Paul Pogba for £89 million, Jurgen Klopp took a holier than thou approach to clubs who spend big.
Klopp claimed that he would leave football management if ever he was at a club that spent such huge sums of money on one player because he wanted to build success in a different way. He insisted that even if he was at a club that could break transfer records, he wouldn’t.
If you bring one player in for £100m and he gets injured, then it all goes through the chimney. The day that this is football, I’m not in a job anymore, because the game is about playing together. That is how everybody in football understands it. You always want to have the best, but building the group is necessary to be successful. Other clubs can go out and spend more money and collect top players. I want to do it differently. I would even do it differently if I could spend that money.
In 2016, Liverpool reached the finals of the EFL Cup and the Europa League, yet lost both of them. The following season, Jose Mourinho took United to both of these finals and won. Klopp has lost five of the six cup finals he’s overseen as a manager, so maybe he realised that doing it “differently” wasn’t working, leading Liverpool to spend an incredible £75m on Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk.
Southampton threatened to report Liverpool to the Premier League in the summer for making an illegal approach for the player, forcing the club to apologise. Months later, they have renewed their interest and made Van Dijk the most expensive defender in world football. His transfer fee is the the second highest amount ever paid by a Premier League club too, after Pogba.
The 26-year-old defender, who has made 16 appearances for Holland, was signed by Southampton for just £13m two years ago.
Liverpool fans he will be hoping he’s more successful than Dejan Lovren, who was previously the most expensive defender they’d ever bought, who also came from Southampton and has been dreadful.
This recent purchase takes Liverpool’s spending to £155m this season, which is £10m more than United.
Klopp will attend his press conference this afternoon. It’ll be interesting to see how he manages to try and talk his way out of looking like a hypocritical arse.