LONDON • Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has offered the "if it's not broken, don't fix it" argument for their lack of activity in the transfer market ahead of their Premier League opener at home to newly promoted Norwich today.
While the Reds' title rivals have splashed the cash, the German has spent a pittance in comparison, bringing in only two youngsters - Dutch defender Sepp van den Berg for £1.8 million (S$3 million) and England Under-17 forward Harvey Elliott, whose fee is to be decided by a tribunal.
Asked at his pre-match press conference yesterday, with the transfer window closing several hours later, if there would be any last-minute deals at Anfield, he jokingly directed the reporter "to go to Everton as they are more busy".
Klopp declined to comment on speculation that former Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho had come close to a return and sounded content about his squad strength.
He said: "Our transfer window was checking options and thinking about it and making decisions, that's how we do it always.
"Then if nothing happens, it's because it was not the right option for us. We will not make signings just for the sake of signing someone. That makes no sense."
His confidence is not misplaced after a stellar season saw Liverpool finish runners-up to Manchester City by a point, with 97 the most recorded by a second-place team in league history, before winning the Champions League for the sixth time.
NO PEER PRESSURE
We have lots of options and different line-ups. You should never do transfers because other clubs are doing transfers. That makes no sense, it's not about that.
JURGEN KLOPP, Liverpool manager, on his transfer beliefs.
SETTING THE TONE
It's the new season and we have to be angry and greedy again and create a football atmosphere. The first game of the season is always difficult... these games are always potential banana skins.
KLOPP, on today's Premier League opener against Norwich.
Long-term injury absentee Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who practically missed the whole of last term with a cruciate ligament injury, is also available again, while Klopp has also talked up 19-year-old Rhian Brewster's potential in pre-season, calling the England Under-18 forward "a top talent".
"We have lots of options and different line-ups," he said. "You should never do transfers because other clubs are doing transfers.
"That makes no sense, it's not about that. And if you sit back for a second and have a look at the squad, do we need more players?"
With Liverpool kicking off their campaign today, they have a chance to lay down an early marker against a Norwich side that won the second-tier Championship last season.
While his team are unbeaten in their last 12 league games against the Canaries, Klopp believes that they must start with the sort of intensity with which they ended last season, when they won their last nine league games.
"We have to respect them (Norwich) 100 per cent with the effort and desire we show from the start," he said. "It's the new season and we have to be angry and greedy again and create a football atmosphere.
"The first game of the season is always difficult. Norwich have a clear plan and they have all my respect, but these games are always potential banana skins."
However, it is hard to see Daniel Farke's players putting up much resistance on Merseyside, especially if Sadio Mane takes his place up front alongside Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah, completing Liverpool's "Fab Three".
Revealing Mane was fit to play despite arriving back for training only on Monday after his Africa Cup of Nations exertions, Klopp added: "Wednesday was the first session and now he's been with the team for the first time, and he's in good spirits."
LIVERPOOL V NORWICH
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