John Barnes, one of Liverpool’s greatest ever wingers, has claimed we won’t be able to sign the transfer targets he actually wants this summer.
Ideally for the Englishman, who tore up trees for us in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Liverpool would be targeting the best of the best – but he reluctantly accepts it’s just not going to happen under FSG and with Jurgen Klopp in charge.
Speaking to IB Times, Barnes said:
“I’d love to see [Cristiano] Ronaldo, [Marco] Reus and Manuel Neuer, but that’s not happening.”
“In terms of the best players in the world, if they are coming to England, they are going to go to Manchester City, they’re going to go to Chelsea, they’re going to go to Manchester United.
“They are going to go to these clubs before Liverpool. The advantage we have is that we trust Jürgen Klopp enough to make the decision to buy some players in Germany or wherever that he knows can do what he wants.
“If you are talking to me about the obvious players who I would like to see coming, there is no point mentioning them because they are not coming to Liverpool.”
Although Barnes’s comments seem pretty defeatist, he goes on to say he trusts Klopp in the transfer market because of the German’s ability to get the best out of relative unknowns.
After all, Reus, Robert Lewandowski, Shiniji Kagawa and Mats Hummels were by no means household names when they arrived at Borussia Dortmund.
“We are unique in that,” Barnes continued. “Unless it’s going to be a £40 million or £50 million signing that everybody knows is a world-class player, the Arsenal fans will be disappointed.
“The Chelsea fans will be disappointed. Liverpool fans trust Jürgen Klopp enough to know that he may sign a player we’ve never heard of, but we trust him enough to get the best out of that player.”
We say it every year, but this summer is going to be a crucial one. Klopp showed when buying Joel Matip, Gini Wijnaldum and Sadio Mane that he hasn’t lost his touch in the market, but we need another successful window if we’re to enter 2017/18 with a fighting chance.
The added responsibility of European football means we’ll need more bodies, but also more talent.