Klopp vows to keep Liverpool squad together after title triumph
Jürgen Klopp has said he is focused on keeping his squad together after ending Liverpools 30-year wait for a 19th league title. The Liverpool manager is adamant his team “doesnt need a break” and, with players who are at their peak, he said it is unlikely the champions will be too active in the transfer market.
“I cannot promise we will dominate football now, nor do I know if it is time to talk about major upheavals,” he said in an interview with Bild. “But I know our goal is to keep the team together. The boys are currently at a great age for football.”
Klopp won back-to-back titles in Germany with Borussia Dortmund but then watched his squad be dismantled as key players left for other clubs. “The problem was that our team was picked up [by other clubs]. That hasnt happened here and now the team has been exceptionally consistent for two and a half years. We play every game as if it were the last one.”
With such a motivated and close-knit squad Klopp believes that a raid on his former club for Jadon Sancho is unlikely – as tempting as it is. “The red jersey would look very good for Jadon,” he said. “But I dont think such a transfer will take place this summer. He is a very interesting player. If he moved to Liverpool, I would be the most surprised of all.”
Klopp also praised the Bundesligas professionalism when it became the first major league to return on 16 May. “I wrote a thank-you text to Christian Seifert [Bundesligas CEO] and had a lot of contact with him during the lockdown,” Klopp said.
“I told him that the title wouldnt have been possible without him because the Bundesliga was a great example. It was a liberation for us in England.”
Klopp awoke on Saturday to praise from Liverpools chairman, Tom Werner, who believes the clubs hunger for success will not diminish in the wake of their maiden Premier League title win and is hopeful of “another period of sustained success”.
“He has just created such an atmosphere at Liverpool that theres no alternative except to win,” Werner said. “One of the things that Im just joyful about whenever I watch the team is how many players contribute.”
The 70-year-old American accepts it will be difficult to maintain this seasons efforts but is confident the good times can continue. “We want to undersell and overdeliver. We hopefully would be ensuring another period of sustained success,” Werner told the clubs website.
“The competition is fierce and I know our rivals are working tirelessly to upend us. But weve got such talent in place as Jürgen, as Michael [Edwards, sporting director] and the team on the pitch.
“One of the things that stuck with me this year was their hunger for winning. I dont think that will be diminished. Theyre such a good group of players. Theyre humble, theyre kind, they enjoy each others company. You could see that in the videos when they were all celebrating. Its a lot to ask them to stay at this extraordinary level but it is our goal to continue to play with this quality.”
Citys loss at Stamford Bridge left Liverpool with an unassailable 23-point lead with seven fixtures to spare. The runaway title success comes a year after Klopp guided Liverpool to Champions League glory. Werner heaped praise on Klopp but stopped short of judging him alongside the great managers of Liverpools history.
“I didnt have the pleasure of knowing or watching the great football of [Bill] Shankly and [Bob] Paisley, so I dont really want to compare Jürgen to previous managers,” said Werner. “I just know that the league is extremely competitive and when we first became involved in Liverpool over 10 years ago, we were not even thinking about winning the league.”