Jurgen Klopp admits that he is coming up short of transfer expectations at Liverpool this summer, but says “big names” are not essential to success.
While Manchester United have brought in Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Liverpool have spent £34m on Sadio Mane as well as bringing in Loris Karius for £4.7m and defender Joel Matip on a free transfer.
Liverpool fans were excited about the possible arrival of Mario Gotze but it seems that he has opted instead to re-join Borussia Dortmund. And now Polish midfielder Piotr Zielinski looks bound for AC Milan despite a public pursuit by Liverpool.
We did suggest Premier League players that the Reds could pursue; perhaps there will be easier signings on that list.
Klopp said: “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.
“If you want to have proof of the different ways that football can work you only have to look at the European Championships.
“In the end it showed a lot. There were wonderful examples of what football really is – about building a team, creating a bond between the team, supporters and whole countries.
“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 works.
“I am 100 per cent happy with the guys we have brought in until now. We didn’t have to convince them that Liverpool is not as bad as everyone says, no.
“We have to build a special bond. It is using experience, using the base and not killing the base and starting completely new.
“We can say yes, we were only eighth in the league and that is not too good, but we could have got European football, that is clear.
“You take from it and you make decisions and then go for it. That is what we are doing in the moment. I cannot make the transfers everyone wants.”