Jurgen Klopp believes signings could have a negative impact on Liverpool this summer – and he’s right.
“Having too much quality doesn’t help with the development of players,” he told the Echo. “It’s good for everybody on the outside because they can say ‘well if he can’t play, then he can play or he could play’.
“If you’re working together all week and then three of the players [of the same quality in the same position] can’t play, they won’t get any better. It’s not just about them staying confident in that kind of situation.”
It’s an interesting take on things – even if it’s led to a remarkably dull summer on the transfer front.
But it’s a belief that could pay dividends with this current squad. You only have to look at the development of Divock Origi last season as proof.
If the Reds had added a pricey striker last summer, the Belgian wouldn’t have had any game time. Origi blossomed from an afterthought with no future into a clinical striker, capable of winning the biggest games.
That was only possible because his path wasn’t blocked. And now, as a result, Liverpool have another powerful weapon in their arsenal.
Or how about Trent Alexander-Arnold? He got his chance because there wasn’t a squad signing waiting for his chance behind Nathaniel Clyne in 2017. Instead, Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez rotated when Clyne was injured.
Now Liverpool have, arguably, the best right-back around.
And so blocking Rhian Brewster’s path, or whoever ends up behind Andy Robertson, isn’t necessarily a good thing. You may end up with a far better – or more useful – player as a result of Klopp developing them.
It’s a risk, of course, but this is where Klopp really earns his reputation. He may be the best manager in the world at developing players.
And there’s why new signings really do have a negative impact – they prevent Klopp from doing what he does best.