Football: Liverpool don't have to buy to win, says Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp cited how the Reds did not panic buy after losing last season's championship to City. PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - Even as the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea look set to dive into the transfer market after being left in the dust in this season's English Premier League title race, champions Liverpool believe their jigsaw puzzle is already complete.

In a virtual press conference with global media ahead of Wednesday's (July 22) league game against Chelsea, who are third and 30 points adrift, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insisted he was "happy with my squad 100 per cent".

The 53-year-old German cited how the Reds did not panic buy after losing last season's championship to City by just a point despite their 97-point haul, and touched on the financial impact of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which will affect the transfer market.

He added: "It is not that we think we cannot improve on a transfer basis, we just do what is possible for us. The main difference between us and other teams this year is consistency... I don't know if you can buy that on the transfer market. We had to build that as well, so that needed time obviously.

"It is not about spending, it is about having the right team based on your own situation. We cannot buy because other teams buy, we cannot buy because everybody wants us to.

"We can buy if we have the money and the need. If one of these is not there, we will not."

It was clear that Klopp, who has brought in 34 players since taking over Liverpool in 2015, relished the achievement of building this side as the Reds finally get their hands on the league trophy on Wednesday after a 30-year wait.

While he beamed with pride when asked about how the cheapest buy in his first team - left-back Andy Robertson was signed from Hull City in 2017 for £8 million (S$14.1 million) - has flourished, Klopp looked equally pleased when The Straits Times asked who is his pick for this year's PFA Player of the Year.

Indeed, while Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firminho have plundered goals thanks to flying full-backs Trent Alexander-Arnold and Robertson, Allison and Virgil van Dijk have been colossal in defence, and there are unsung but influential heroes such as born-again skipper Jordan Henderson and Fabinho in midfield.

With a laugh, Klopp said: "Thank God I don't make this decision! My job is to bring as many players possible to the election and we have a few, which is very good.

"I am really happy with the season we played, and that is only possible because the players had an incredible season, all of them. And so, I'm very pleased that it is not 100 per cent clear who will be the PFA Player of the Year, but there will be Liverpool players around I'm pretty sure."

He also implored fans to stay home and avoid heading to Anfield to celebrate the lifting of the Premier League trophy, following advice from Merseyside Police chief constable Andy Cooke.

Referencing how Leeds fans had thronged Elland Road to celebrate their return to the top flight, Klopp said: "Congratulations to them... we don't want to say that's completely wrong, but it is wrong. We cannot excuse one wrong thing with another wrong thing. We cannot say, but they did it so we do it.

"And again, I promise we will have this party which everybody deserves at an appropriate time. But we can do it only if everybody behaves appropriately."

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