Klopp aims sly dig at £173m Chelsea duo with ‘lucky’ Liverpool jibe after ‘strange’ transfer activity

Lewis Oldham
Liverpool boss Klopp
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has suggested that the Premier League giants were “lucky” in the summer after they missed out on Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia.

The Reds – who are fifth in the 2023 Premier League net spend table – were focused on overhauling their midfield in the summer and they ended up spending around £150m to sign Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboszlai, Wataru Endo and Ryan Gravenberch.

Liverpool were heavily linked with several defensive midfielders after Fabinho completed his move to the Saudi Pro League.

Caicedo and Lavia were on Liverpool’s radar and they failed with a couple of offers for the Chelsea duo, who ended up joining Mauricio Pochettino’s side for around £173m combined.

Liverpool ended up signing Endo from VfB Stuttgart as a cheaper alternative for £16m. Klopp thinks the Japan international is an “exceptional player”, while he made a subtle joke at Caicedo and Lavia’s expense.

“The summer we had, we had a few strange things happen in the transfer market but here, between us, I can say ‘My god, were we lucky, eh?'” Klopp said at an Anfield Road test event on Monday evening.

“We didn’t know that in that moment and it didn’t feel like it in that moment, but yeah, I’m really happy that it worked out, but you never know before.

He added: “We obviously realised that other central defensive midfielders don’t want to join Liverpool, you see what happens, and then we found Endo. He’s an exceptional player … He wanted to come definitely and that helps.”

After Liverpool’s 2-1 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday, Klopp admitted they are unlikely to sign a replacement for Joel Matip, who is likely to miss the rest of the season with an anterior cruciate ligament injury.

“Everyone talks about us needing another player but they all cost money and they must be the right player,” Klopp told reporters.

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“You tell me a club who wants to sell a top centre-half. Not a centre-half but a top centre-half.

“For four or five days we’ve known Joel will be out for a long time and that’s really bad for us but we still have four centre-halves and that’s absolutely alright.

“If we had a fifth centre-half in beforehand it is a completely different team dynamic: when one is not involved, we don’t see steps with him, so it was like it was and it was perfect.

“Is it now perfect? I would say it is as long as we can go with those four, yes. If not then it would be a bit more tricky with the amount of games coming up.

“But it was never wonderland where you bring in a world-class centre-half until the other one is fit again.

“As long as other clubs don’t put them under the Christmas tree for us and say ‘Take it as long as you need it’ I don’t think so (it is likely to buy a player) to be honest.”