Speaking to The Daily Mail, Liverpool legend John Barnes has made a huge claim about the kind of squad Jurgen Klopp has built at Anfield.
Despite the Reds lifting the Champions League trophy last season, and being on course to win the Premier League title this year before football’s postponement, Barnes has claimed that people still wouldn’t pick the kind of players currently at the club over others.
He said: “Klopp signs players to fit his system, not only because they looked great at their previous clubs. Ninety-nine per cent of people wouldn’t pick Henderson and Wijnaldum above Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva or even Jack Grealish or James Maddison, but they work for Liverpool.
“Divock Origi and Xherdan Shaqiri came in for the Barcelona semi-final, their attitude was great and they were physically ready. It shows they were training well, waiting for their chance. Jurgen creates that environment. One of the bravest things was letting Philippe Coutinho go and not directly replacing him. Liverpool trusted him.”
Whilst it perhaps wasn’t Barnes’ intention to downplay what Henderson and Wijnaldum bring to the table, it’s certainly fair to say that Liverpool are more of a sum of their parts than just individuals.
The likes of Virgil van Dijk, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah rightly figured highly in the Ballon d’Or rankings for last year, but it of course doesn’t show the contributions made by those who don’t get much of the limelight a la Henderson and Wijnaldum.
The Reds’ success is built on having a fully-functioning team with a sprinkling of stardust in key positions, and it has brought them rich rewards.