Before walking through the doors at Anfield, Jurgen Klopp would have been aware of the problematic trend of top quality players leaving Liverpool for big money clubs.
Alonso, Torres, Suarez and the potentially excellent Raheem Sterling (who went missing on Saturday), although reasons for leaving may have had differences, but the most important point here is that Liverpool have grown accustomed to losing their world beaters.
However, the German tactician knows all too well about battling clubs with financial muscle. During his stay at Borussia Dortmund, he also witnessed the sad inevitable moves of Mario Götze and Robert Lewandowski to Bayern Munich. The fight to keep them at Signal Iduna Park was strong from Klopp, no matter how much he iterated the significance of both players at the club.
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Once Lewandowski and Gotze’s heads turned away there was no going back. Bayern, like Barcelona and Real Madrid, have the habit of eventually getting their hands on the desired man.
It cannot be imagined that Liverpool will ever take a top player from the clutches of Barca, Bayern or even Real. After dispatching Man City in outstanding fashion at the Etihad on Saturday, Klopp proved he is capable of elevating Liverpool back into the category of Europe’s elite.
The significant attribute from the Merseyside club’s win over City was the high-pressing game as well as the guile and quick movement of the Brazilian duo, Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho. The Samba boys made the City rich clan wonder about chalking up £32million on Eliaquim Mangala. The Frenchman looked clueless when the latter came anywhere close to him with the ball.
Coutinho is now an established big game player for Liverpool since the departure of their Uruguayan talisman, Luis Suarez. The 23-year-old disappointed in matches against high-level opposition previously but responsibility seems to have helped him relish in the spotlight.
As brilliant as Coutinho was, it raises fewer eyebrows than fellow countryman Firmino’s display. Showing glimpses of top class ability must have gone a long way towards silencing his critics and satisfying the Liverpool supporters. One thing that cannot be forgotten is that Brendan Rodgers signed these two players, and he deserves some credit for this.
It must be a delight for Klopp to work with players such as Coutinho, Firmino, Adam Lallana, James Milner, Lucas Leiva etc. Moving forward there could be a keen interest in Coutinho, therefore keeping him at the club can be a huge challenge for Klopp.
Though for now the next step for the ‘Normal One’ is to continue his galvanising effect into a Saturday-like performance at Anfield, starting with the Europa League game against Bordeaux on Thursday night and then the Swansea league match on Sunday.
That rise in play and emergence of new match winners within the side could help Klopp make the wish of keeping the top talents in Liverpool a reality.
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