Liverpool have been quite canny in the transfer market so far and could yet receive significant fees for Christian Benteke and Joe Allen with the new Premier League TV deal inflating prices beyond reason. How else can Liverpool demand £30 million plus for a player who hasn't quite succeeded after moving to Anfield for £32.5 million last summer? The likes of Lazar Marković, Mario Balotelli, and Luis Alberto could be on the move as well. While Liverpool don't need sales to be active in the summer, a tighter squad is needed in the absence of European football for 2016/17.
Marko Grujić and Joël Matip were shrewd deals that were effectively completed well before the summer, continuing a trend of Jürgen Klopp being happy to look at the needs of his squad instead of making a statement in the market. Loris Karius and Sadio Mané have been the players secured during the summer, and only Mané's fee would satisfy those desperate for big signings to show that Liverpool mean business.
For Klopp, however, time will reveal what players and which clubs have got it right. What can be done instead is to focus on pre-season preparations and continue to build a team that is ready as well as able to work together.
"This period in every year is one of a lot of expectations," Klopp said like a wise old maestro. "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?’ Some clubs have already done a lot but you cannot prove in this moment what’s really right. What you have to do is prepare the new season.
"At the moment nobody thinks about the good games we played last season or the bad games. 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 work."
Klopp went on to assess Liverpool's chances of signing players without Champions League football along with the belief that sweeping squad changes just aren't as necessary as some would think. This does chime in with his repeated declarations of faith in his squad.; the manager clearly believes in the quality that he inherited from Brendan Rodgers.
Some players, though, needed to go and have done so. Nine players have left permanently and a further two—both goalkeepers—have left on loan. Conversely, four players have joined Klopp's squad for his first full season in English football. Despite the pruning of a big squad, many of Liverpool's displays in the Premier League and Europa League were exceptional last season. This is why Klopp went on to say that a few additions could help Liverpool become "a real challenger" moving forward. His confidence in those who have been brought in is pretty clear.
"If we go for players and there is obviously there is no chance, there is no point," Klopp pointed out, hopefully knocking sense into some unrealistic Liverpool fans. "Look for players you can have and make the best of it. I am 100% happy with the guys we have brought in until now. Karius is a wonderful goalkeeper, he is still a big talent, he is pretty young but has experience and from the German goalkeeper school which is not too bad.
"Joël Matip, he has played five or six years in a row at the highest level, big development and is a free agent so it was a wonderful transfer. Sadio Mané. There is no doubt about him. He could fit in each Champions League team but he is here because he wanted to come here.
"We didn’t have to convince them that Liverpool is not as bad as everyone says, no. It was a call – and we thought a lot about it, not just because they wanted to come – and it was ‘we want to join this team, this team is strong and we want to help it reach a lot of things in the future.We believe in the strength of the team, the club and the manager’.
"That is what we have to take. Show that we have a strong base with a few add ons and improvement of the players that are still here."
Well. This doesn't seem like a manager unhappy with his lot or the players brought in to date. Jürgen Klopp knows the score, and not only will the 49-year-old bring in the best players he possibly can, he will improve them.