Former Liverpool winger John Barnes doesn’t believe the club need to go out and spend big on world-class talent this summer.
The Reds won a sixth European cup with a 2-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur in Madrid at the start of June but once again fell short in ending their 29-year wait for an English league title.
Reds to stick or twist? Five key things to know…
- Liverpool finished one point behind Man City in the Premier League last term.
- During 2018, the Reds spent big on Van Dijk (£75m) and Alisson (£66.8m).
- Despite their domestic shortcomings, Liverpool won the Champions League title.
- Man City have been linked with the likes of Rodri and are set to invest again.
- But Barnes has urged Klopp to only sign squad players, believing the likes of David Silva wouldn’t fit his system.
Despite picking up 97 points – the third-highest total in Premier League history – and losing just one game all season, Jurgen Klopp’s men finished one point behind Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, who completed a domestic treble.
As such, some Kopites believe Klopp may need to invest heavily to keep up with Guardiola, who is expected to invest once again this summer, but Barnes has a different view.
He told The Liverpool Offside: “I actually feel the opposite. I’m looking for something exciting but not necessarily anything new.
“Last season we needed players like Virgil van Dijk and Alisson to come into the team to be the main pieces in the squad and maximise the potential we had.
“This year, I don’t think there are any players who will be coming in to take the place of [Mohamed] Salah, [Sadio] Mane, [Roberto] Firmino, or Van Dijk, so instead what we need to do is supplement the squad.
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“I don’t think we’re going to go out and get a player for £100m to go straight into the team, but we don’t need that.”
Despite Liverpool’s failure to seal the Premier League title being largely down to a lack of midfield creativity compared to Man City, Barnes believes the Reds “don’t want” players like Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva, claiming they wouldn’t fit Klopp’s “identity”.
“The identity on the pitch is clear,” he added. “No matter how we feel about the players in the team, there is a certain dynamic and profile that they fit under Jurgen Klopp.
“The likes of Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva are fantastic players, Liverpool under Klopp don’t want players like that. We have a team where we don’t have the best players as much as we need and have players who fit into the system Klopp has put in place.
“The teams I played for had that similar clear understanding of our identity but it’s also apparent that we also haven’t seen that in the last 15 years at the club.
“The club, the city, the fans have clear expectations of the effort and desire they want to see from this team and that’s the difference between the Liverpool team that you see now and the teams in the last 10-15 years.”