Jürgen Klopp isn’t known for being forthcoming when speaking about transfers but the Liverpool manager did give some insight during an interview with ESPN.
Jürgen Klopp doesn’t exactly offer much when asked about transfer dealings most of the time which, to be fair, is how it should be from a manager.
As much as we as fans love to know every little bit of what’s going on and hate to be left wondering in the suspenseful silence, clubs being too public with their dealings can cause all sorts of problems. As we’ve already found out this window.
However, in a recent interview with ESPN, Klopp did offer a little bit of insight into his thoughts on transfers and why he’s targeting the players that he is. He didn’t name any specific names but of course, we all know he’s referring to Virgil van Dijk and Naby Keita.
“It’s outstandingly important because life is always easy in the moment when everything is right – the weather is good, family is good – then you function in your work too,” Klopp said after being asked about the importance of a new signing’s character.
“Staying on track in (tough) moments is what you need character for – being ready to fight in difficult circumstances, ready to fight with enemies in yourselves. For all people – not just in football – it’s the most important thing.
“What I don’t like is too often in life people say: ‘That’s my character, I cannot change’ because most of the things we can change. You can develop, even in this department. For me, it’s really important. Players need to be good – very, very good – but they (must be) ready to make the next step and not to stay in the moment they are at this time.”
Klopp was then asked about his preference for unique talent or targeting specific needs in his squad to which the manager replied: “I hope we do both. That’s more what I think. How you can imagine, there are a lot of players out there and Liverpool is a club who can afford, maybe not all of them, but a lot.
“It’s very important that we don’t go for it and close our eyes and pick and then we start thinking about where he fits in. It’s a long process. It should be both. It’s about skills. Being unique, it’s not that – it’s cool but it has to fit into the squad.”
Klopp then once again touched on the importance of character alongside both fit and the want to succeed and win trophies.
“That’s the thing. It’s different departments of this business. He needs to fit from character, his position. He needs to fit in the greed to be successful or from his experience of already being successful. There’s always something that you miss a little bit in a team, or you have it but you don’t have it often enough, so you go for this. That’s how it works. That’s a long way until you finalise a transfer.”
In a move that offers Reds fans some insight they may not have heard before unless they went digging back upon his initial appointment, Sporting Director Michael Edwards and his role in transfers was the next topic of discussion for the Liverpool boss.
“With Michael Edwards, I worked together with him already,” explained the boss.
“When Ian was still here, Michael Edwards did the job of course. Peter Moore is in now. He’s a really nice, smart person.. very experienced in business. But it’s still very fresh, I would say. (He’s not) too long in, but we need him and it’s very useful that he’s in because there a lot of things to do – represent the club in different meetings. I feel fine with the situation. That’s all good.”
“Of course, I’m involved. In England, because our owners are in America, I have the final say. That’s how it is. I can only decide about the money I want or whatever – that is not the case, of course. I like the partnership with Michael, I like it. I know I’m responsible for all the things that work or not work, but I really think he’s a fantastic partner to do this kind of business.”
You can read the rest of the interview transcript here.