How do some managers become so synonymous with youth development and so keen to give youngsters their chance, while some constantly want to buy players and success?
Klopp, Wenger, and even Ferguson all have/had a tendency to trust young players. Mourinho is the opposite.
Ironically, history consistently shows us that the teams that give their own young players a chance tend to fare better. Look at the Barcelona players that came out of La Masia or the United local lads that paved the way for their 15 years of success.
By way of contrast, for all the billions spent by Roman Abramovich at Chelsea, they have only won four league titles and one Champions League in 13 years. It’s not a great return on investment.
Klopp has now revealed his own story about how he became such a believer in youth, and it harks back to when he was a 21-year-old manager.
“I got a team to manage when I was 21 and after one year the sports director came to me and asked me: ‘How many new players do you want for next year?’,” he said.
“I said: ‘I don’t want new players.’ He said: ‘Always take new players, the best from other clubs.’ But I said I wasn’t interested. I wanted to keep that team and work with them.
“You need scouting, of course you need to have the best as much as possible, but I don’t know the way to find out which 10-year-old boy will really go through. It’s much too early at that age.
“I’d always say to someone that age: ‘Stay in your club, don’t travel a lot, focus on your education. Just play football because it’s the best game in the world, it’s fun and play as often as you can.’
“It’s better playing football 20 times a week in school than training three times a week with other players.
“For 10 or 12-year-olds it’s more about individual education and development at that age. There will be a moment later when you are involved in team tactics.”