Klopp shrugs off rivals’ spending as Premier League kicks off

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Jurgen Klopp has warned Liverpool’s title rivals that splashing out on new signings is no guarantee of success as the Premier League champions start their new campaign against Leeds on Saturday.

Klopp’s side is back in action just seven weeks after Jordan Henderson lifted the trophy to mark the culmination of Liverpool’s first title-winning campaign for 30 years.

As they powered to the title in record-setting style, Liverpool looked so untouchable that an era of sustained dominance seems eminently possible.

They won 32 of their 38 games to finish 18 points clear of second-placed Manchester City and 33 ahead of both third-placed Manchester United and fourth-placed Chelsea.

But for City, United, and Chelsea, the brief break since last season has given Liverpool’s title challengers a much-needed chance to improve their firepower by splashing out in the transfer window.

Chelsea has been the biggest spenders as Frank Lampard invested around £200 million ($257 million) on Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Hakim Ziyech, and Ben Chilwell, with Thiago Silva arriving on a free transfer and goalkeeper Edouard Mendy reportedly set to join from Rennes as well.

Forced to surrender the title he had won for the previous two seasons, City boss Pep Guardiola has responded by signing Dutch international Nathan Ake from Bournemouth to finally plug the hole in the heart of his defense left by Vincent Kompany’s departure in 2019.

The city has also signed promising Spanish winger Ferran Torres from Valencia as Guardiola looks to revitalize a team that seemed weary towards the end of a frustrating season that petered out with their limp Champions League quarter-final defeat against Lyon.

Across Manchester at Old Trafford, United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a vibrant young team that finished strongly after the January arrival of Bruno Fernandes.

A full season for Portugal playmaker Fernandes, combined with Solskjaer’s swoop for Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek, should allow United to narrow the gap to Liverpool.

‘Different kind of club’
In contrast, Liverpool has adopted a cautious approach given the financial fall-out from the coronavirus — stadiums will remain shuttered until at least October and probably longer.

Promoted Leeds, led by enigmatic boss Marcelo Bielsa on their return to the top-flight after a 16-year absence, provide intriguing opponents to measure if Liverpool’s thirst for silverware has been quenched by their recent success.

Klopp’s only addition to date is Greece left-back Kostas Tsimikas, but the Reds boss believes the continuity in Liverpool’s squad will serve them well while their overhauled rivals try to gel.

“For some clubs, it seems less important how uncertain the future is: those owned by countries, owned by oligarchs, that’s the truth. We’re a different kind of club,” Klopp told the BBC.

“We cannot just change it overnight and say, ‘so now we want to behave like Chelsea’.

“Now they are signing a lot of players. That can be an advantage of course but that means they have to fit together pretty quickly as well.

“It’s about working together on the training ground. That will probably be an advantage for us.”

Source: The Guardian.

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