Klopp's old Pogba quotes come back to haunt him - again

Daryl Finch
11 months ago

With Liverpool agreeing a £111-million fee for Moisés Caicedo, a deal that would break both the club and the Premier League record if it indeed eventually goes through, old quotes from manager Jürgen Klopp have resurfaced - and opposition fans are using them as a stick to beat the German with.

Famously, Klopp, who has repeatedly expressed his concerns about the escalating transfer fees in football and their potential impact on the sport's future, criticised the £100-million fee paid by Manchester United to re-sign Paul Pogba in 2016.

At the time, he said: "The day that this is football, I'm not in a job any more, because the game is about playing together."

"Other clubs can go out and spend more money and collect top players. I want to do it differently," he added, even going as far as saying: "I would even do it differently if I could spend that money."

Klopp was already reminded of these comments when Liverpool broke the bank to sign Virgil van Dijk for £75 million from Southampton in January 2018. Now, though, with the club now dealing in nine-figure transfer fees, it seems "the day" has well and truly arrived.

"The market has evolved"

When asked about these comments during Friday's press conference to preview Sunday's season opener against Chelsea, Klopp acknowledged a change in his perspective.

"Everything changed," he said. "Do I like it? No. Did I realise I was wrong? Yes."

"I'm not blaming anyone but it's just the market. In the end, we as a club have to make sure that, with our resources, we get the best possible player."

This stance could explain why the Reds have been locked in negotiations with Southampton for Roméo Lavia, refusing to meet their £50-million valuation.

"We aren't in a dreamland and can't just point at a player and get them to come in. Sometimes one door closes and another opens up."

Certainly, the high-profile departures of captain Jordan Henderson and midfield anchorman Fabinho have presented a unique situation in which the Reds have a depleted midfield, without a recognised holding player, but also a significantly reduced wage bill. Let's not forget that top earners James Milner, Naby Keita, Roberto Firmino and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have all left the club this summer.

"I said that day what I thought and now I realise I was wrong. Easy to admit that."

With the Caicedo deal hanging in the balance, how Liverpool end up solving this midfield conundrum remains to be seen.

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