Jurgen Klopp has spoken about the transfer strategy at Liverpool after a whirlwind 12 months.
The Liverpool boss has seen key signings arrive over the past year as he shaped his squad into challengers.
Two transfers stand out above all the others, however: Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker.
The duo put an end to Liverpool’s defensive woes but did so as two of the most expensive transfers in history.
Liverpool breaking transfer records
Liverpool broke the transfer records in both positions to sign their stars, although Klopp makes it clear that it isn’t normal.
“We cannot do that constantly [spending large amount] and we will not do that constantly,” he told Sky Sports.
“The good thing was that, like most things in life, the timing was important – we had the money and the players were on the market.
“We didn’t know exactly when Alisson was on the market and when it was clear that he was, we had to, even if we had to collect money somewhere.”
It’s impossible to ignore Philippe Coutinho’s sale when looking at the deals. The BBC report Barcelona as paying £142m for the Brazilian – far and away the British record sale.
That money facilitated the transfers for Van Dijk & Alisson and Klopp believes fans should look elsewhere for a prime example of Liverpool’s business.
Klopp’s ideal business
“I don’t know what our net spend is at the end, but we bought fantastic players in,” he said.
“Like Gini Wijnaldum, what a player he is. We bought him from Newcastle, playing left-wing or whatever so that’s really nice.
“So really good signings and two for really big money.’
Liverpool’s squad is full of examples. Andy Robertson is the best left-back that Anfield has seen in years but only cost £8m. Joe Gomez cost £3.5m and has developed into a fine defender. Xherdan Shaqiri arrived for £13.5m last summer and that looks like a bargain.
Some fantastic players have arrived for big money, although Liverpool’s strength lies in value. Yes, Van Dijk cost £75m but the rest of Klopp’s first-choice back four cost under £15m.
Buying expensive players doesn’t bring you instant success – no one can buy 25 elite players. It’s how you develop your whole squad that separates the top sides.
And Klopp may just be the best around at getting value for money.