John Barnes picks three most clever Jurgen Klopp signings as Liverpool boss’ best traits are named
John Barnes has told TEAMtalk the secrets to the success of Jurgen Klopp as Liverpool manager – and has also named to us his three most clever signings, in an exclusive interview.
The Reds are trying to land an unprecedented quadruple with the Carabao Cup already in the bag. Next up is the final of the FA Cup, against Chelsea on Saturday. They then face Real Madrid in Paris in the Champions League final.
Before that Liverpool will also see whether it is they, or reigning champions Manchester City, who will win the Premier League title.
Whatever the outcome, Barnes has also told us where he ranks Klopp among Liverpool’s all-time best-ever managers.
Assessing the secret to Klopp’s success, Barnes has pinpointed three things: his tactical nouse, his charisma and his ability to get the best out of highly-paid players.
However, Barnes identifies the Liverpool recruitment policy as the primary reason why Liverpool are excelling in all the major competitions.
And that, he feels needs to be applauded while operating on a budget that is less than many of their domestic and European rivals.
“What Klopp has done is made great use of the resources he has,” Barnes told TEAMtalk.
“I never go along with the theory that he has had a limited budget because it is nonsense. He has spent a lot of money on players like Virgil van Dijk, Alisson, Mohamed Salah and Naby Keita.
“The difference is, he doesn’t have an unlimited budget like Manchester City. That’s why people highlight Liverpool’s success in the transfer market.
Clever Jurgen Klopp has won the transfer market
“Liverpool’s ethos has never been to buy all the best players. In the team lead by Kenny (Dalglish) and Ian Rush in the 1980s, the other parts of that team helped to make it great.
“Sammy Lee, Jimmy Case… the unsung heroes. It’s not just about having superstars in the team and while Salah may fall into that category now, the players they have signed have made this success story.
“I don’t remember Real Madrid being linked with Luis Diaz, but look at the impact he has made at Liverpool.
“The same with Diogo Jota. Who was looking to get him from Wolves other than Liverpool? He has been a magnificent signing.
“Salah is another one no one was looking at and he has become a huge star at Liverpool. Now we are saying they are all world-class players and that’s all down to Klopp. ”
Getting the best from his Liverpool players
The January signing of Diaz has certainly proved yet another masterstroke by Liverpool.
Indeed, it’s little wonder to see pundit Rio Ferdinand naming the Colombian as the best signing of the season.
Barnes, though, knows that Klopp’s management is key to getting the best from these big-name signings.
Working alongside Michael Edwards, Barnes knows Liverpool’s business in the market, mixed with the charms of Jurgen Klopp make for a winning formula.
“He sees a player who can fit into his style of play and gets the best out of them. It’s a great skill. He also works with players on the training ground and makes them better, which is not something we see all the time,” Barnes added.
“Look at Man United, they have some great players there, but they have not improved during their time at United.
“So Mo Salah would not do what he does at Real Madrid because the team would not be designed around him. That’s something he needs to think about when it comes to the contract debate.”
Meanwhile, Peter Crouch and Ferdinand have had their say on the destination of the Premier League this season.