Jurgen Klopp was inevitably faced with the task of discussing transfer business after watching Liverpool secure their place in the Champions League group stages.
While admitting a place in Europe’s elite competition can have an impact on potential new arrivals, the German also voiced his frustration regarding those who demand it as a necessity.
Additional signings may yet still be made, but, in the eyes of the Reds boss, none will be more important than the players he currently has at his disposal.
Speaking post-match about the power of European football, he said: “It’s a big influence in the transfer market, especially if you do it more often,” the Liverpool Echo reports.
“I said I think before the game, if you talk to a player, they really often [mention it]… especially players we talk to because we don’t have to talk to players which are not better than our players because it’s difficult to find.”
“I know a few people think differently, but we do a lot of work and it’s not that easy to find 20 players in this position that are better, 20 players in that position that are better.”
“But if you talk to them, they say if you would play in the Champions League it would be really interesting because the club is great, the manager is not too bad and all that stuff.”
“Or even if you try to extend a contract with a player in the squad they say ‘Yeah, I want to play Champions League.’ I always think ‘WTF? It’s your job to do it with us together. Don’t ask for us to do your job to play Champions League let’s just do it together’.”
“Fourteen months hard work and we did it- nice.”
As eager as Reds are to see the club making more signings, Klopp’s loyalty to the players he already has is admirable and testament to his honest belief in their capabilities.
Very simply, they earned the opportunity and now have every right to be first in line to make the most of it. No matter who joins the club, it’s up to new members of the squad to fight for that privilege.
Klopp sells Liverpool as a long-term project, and rightly so. It’s a club for players to come to under the expectation they will take their own games to a new level rather that settle for what has been laid out on a plate for them before they even arrive.