Jurgen Klopp not entirely happy with Liverpool's transfer dealings
After the January transfer window closed, one look at the list of Premier League transfer spending for the 2017/18 season told a familiar tale of the goings on at Anfield.
Liverpool owners, the Fenway Sports Group, have been pretty miserly since they took over at the club and this season has proved no different with the club spending £157.9 million on players between the summer and January but they received £147.9 meaning the net spend is a measly £10 million.
Compare that to the top two, Manchester City (£191.7m net) and Manchester United (£127m net) while even their Merseyside neighbours Everton leave them in the ha'penny place with a net spend of £84.3 million, just behind City and United in the table.
NEW: full season 2017-18 Premier League transfer spending, club by club, with corrected total net spend. pic.twitter.com/XpqD2VVNLT— Nick Harris (@sportingintel) February 1, 2018
Klopp has always demonstrated a united front with FSG; “We will get all the money,” the gaffer insisted when quizzed about the Philippe Coutinho cash last month.
The Brazilian playmaker departed for La Liga giants Barcelona early in the January transfer window for an eye-watering fee of £142 million.
Five players went on loan deals; Daniel Sturridge (West Brom), Jon Flanagan (Bolton), Lazar Markovic (Anderlecht), Harry Wilson (Hull City) & Oviemuno Ejaria (Sunderland).
The only big name signing was Dutch stopper Virgil van Dijk who came in from Southampton for a fee of £75 million pounds while 18-year-old left back Tony Gallacher was signed from Falkirk for just £200k.
Klopp didn't sound very enthusiastic when asked at today's press conference ahead of the Premier League meeting with Spurs on Sunday, whether he felt their January transfer dealings enhanced or lessened Liverpool's chances of finishing in the top four.
"Neither...nor I would say," answered the German. "We did what we thought is right. Not everything was in our hands. Would we have preferred to keep Phil Coutinho? Yes, of course. I think everybody knows that but I think it was really sensible to do it.
"So with the young lads we gave on loan to different clubs, especially the young boys, it's especially because we really think that they are ready for the next challenge. We have still the plan to strengthen the u-23s. That's now obviously not the case in the moment anymore. But we have other players, they can step up. They can make the next step from u-18 to u-23, from u-16 to u-18, stuff like that. That was a decision of all of us, we think they are ready.
"Then, the senior players we gave on loan, I think that made sense as well. Marko needed match time. Lazar, it's clear, didn't play football for a long time. I think Anderlecht is a fantastic solution, the same Bolton is for Flanno. Daniel wanted to leave as well and we have with Roberto, Dom and Danny Ings, three players in that position plus maybe Mo Salah on a specific day can play there as well. So it made sense as well and that's why we did the business we did."
Klopp also spoke about van Dijk's fitness and admitted that an injury interrupted season at St Mary's has left him short of being match-fit but he didn't sound too happy with Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher's assertion on Sky Sports last night that the centre-half needed to lose some weight.
Today he was asked what his response was to Carragher's comments.
"Oh, nothing. Wow. I'm sure Jamie needs to lose a little bit of weight but I know for Virgil that's not the case. He is a big and a tall lad. We have the best nutrition department and no one came to me and said it was a problem. It is not an issue, not at all."