Jurgen Klopp believes that Liverpool’s success means they can now attract a completely different level of world star.
But the Reds boss also admits that brings with it a new set of problems for the Anfield club – his team is now so good, even the biggest names fear they couldn’t get in it.
Liverpool will extend their lead at the top of the Premier League back to 22 points if they beat West Ham on Monday night…and move to within four wins of the title.
And Klopp knows they are now a ‘destination’ club, with such huge names as Germany’s Timo Werner describing them as the best in world. And he said: “On the one side, it’s easier if players see you as that.
“If they see you are successful, it’s easier to get into talks with players. But on the other side, it’s more difficult the better your team is because they ask questions like ‘where and when would I play?’
“We need players who want to be part of this, who want to fight for their spot, who want to make the next step together with us, who want to develop and improve so that’s it.
“We have these players and whoever wants to join us, needs to have exactly this kind of attitude.”
Klopp has performed a remarkable transformation at Anfield, putting them back on their perch to the extent that a 10 year old Manchester united fan wrote, pleading for him to stop Liverpool winning, it was so painful.
In his reply, the Reds manager suggested these things are cyclical, with success coming and going. But what the German coach has done, is build a platform where his team look assured of staying at the highest level for many years to come.
While he agrees that is the case, he also argues that it’s wrong to suggest Liverpool are the best in the world, even if their attitude is world-best level.
“This thing with ‘the best team in the world,’ I don’t really get it. It’s nice when people say it – it’s better than if they say you are the worst team in the world obviously.
“But what I loved from my team at Atletico is we didn’t play like the best team in the world, we fought like crazy to get through it. Our attitude in this game was exceptional.
“The quality they have is unbelievable and for 95 minutes, we were on fire and try, and try and try. We fought and that’s what I love. And that’s what people appreciate when they watch us: the intensity the boys put in even when it’s difficult.
“Usually if people mention ‘the best team in the world,’ you think of Real Madrid from a few years ago, Barcelona from a few years ago, Man City of the last two years and stuff like this. The team we have is about attitude – go and go and go – mixed with really good football players.”
When they win the league this year, Liverpool will go to another level, and Klopp says that is one where they are happy about the future, but are enough to know it gets harder from this point, especially in player recruitment.
“The CV [we are looking for], it’s not easy to fulfil. The age group of the team is good in the moment. In two or three years, maybe it’ll be different but for the moment, it’s good.
“It depends on what you want – is it a good age for selling? Probably not. But is it a good age for performing? Yes. So there’s a lot of things we have to think about. It’s an interesting period.
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