Although Liverpool will be active in the transfer window, Jürgen Klopp declared that money will not be used to attract players to Anfield. Liverpool’s manager has spoken of players “pushing the train” of progress instead of “jumping on the running train” earlier in the year, but ahead of the January transfer window, Klopp has can offer players both possibilities.
Liverpool lie in second with 37 points after 17 Premier League games, second only to a Chelsea side that has only dropped eight points all season. The season-ending injury to Danny Ings, Sadio Mané’s international commitments at the African Cup of Nations, and a lack of wide attackers in the squad have pushed Liverpool to look for solutions in the mid-season transfer window. However, Klopp is unwavering in his approach to procuring top talent.
“It is not only China that is looking for good players but a lot of other clubs, and they might have more money to offer,” Klopp said about the current conditions in the transfer market. “I can say we don’t want to convince players with money. We want to convince them with the way we go. We want to have players who are ready to develop and it’s not a message for the winter transfer window – it’s a message for the next few years. We have already really good players and if someone wants to be a part, they are welcome.
“In this window, I would say if you don’t have the biggest injury problems in the world then you shouldn’t do things you can do in the summer. Then you solve one problem and create another for the summer. But, as always, we have our eye on the market. That doesn’t mean we can do what we want.
“Firstly, I am really happy with the squad. Second, Sadio is not around from January but we have options – we can change our system and do a lot of things. If we had five other wingers already to replace Sadio then we wouldn’t have the atmosphere that we have now in the squad. We can change the system. A lot of our players are versatile. The players need to be open and I am sure they are.”
The message is clear: Liverpool will not look for short-term solutions in bolstering the attack in January nor focus on money to lure players to Anfield. The interest in Julian Draxler is unlikely to amount to anything, but Liverpool is a club where talented attackers move to the next level. Jürgen Klopp is a manager and coach who helps players fulfill their potential. Champions League football, wages, playing in a competitive league, and pushing for titles all matter.
Before all that, choose the right club and manager where there will be opportunities to play with a philosophy that enables genuine footballing growth. Sadio Mané, Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino, Divock Origi, and Adam Lallana have made strides under Klopp at Liverpool. The squad still needs extra stardust in attack, and if there is an opportunity to join a club next month, Liverpool is one of the most exciting destinations in Europe for attacking players right now.