Klopp warns fans not to celebrate too early after strong summer signings
Liverpool’s recruitment over the summer has had everyone talking.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has warned they cannot get carried away “celebrating signings” as the squad heads into the most important fortnight of pre-season.
The Reds’ recruitment over the summer has had everyone talking with £174million spent on midfielders Naby Keita and Fabinho, winger Xherdan Shaqiri and perhaps most crucially Brazil goalkeeper Alisson.
But while fans are relishing the prospect of a genuine title challenge, Klopp is focusing on laying down more of his game-plan to ensure there is no complacency.
“For me these last two weeks are the most important two weeks of the whole pre-season,” he told LFC TV.
“My job is not to be excited. I realise the mood is really positive we played a (Champions League) final – we did not win it but it was still positive.
“Then we made the signings so from a fan point of view it is ‘Business done. Now we have all of them how can it be worse?’.
“It is not allowed to think for one second it will be a little bit easier.
“We need to be ready for the big challenges, the big goals, we have to be this angry, aggressive, greedy team full of desire that wants to win each game.
“All the other teams have quality as well so we need to be ready for fights, not celebrating signings and stuff.
“I get it, it is only pre-season and people are happy – cool. To stay happy there is a lot of work ahead.
“We are in the middle of the process and they will not be finished for the first match day, of course not.”
Klopp has been impressed by Daniel Sturridge’s pre-season and is prepared to give the striker another chance.
Last summer the Reds were prepared to offload the 28-year-old for £20million as his poor injury record had made him unreliable and largely unusable.
Sturridge went to West Brom on loan in January but was injured early on and managed just six appearances.
With 12 months left on his contract it seemed Sturridge’s Anfield career was over but he has looked sharp in friendlies this month games and Klopp, who became frustrated by the player’s unavailability last season, is prepared to hand him a lifeline.
“We’re not in doubt – and nobody was ever in doubt – about his quality,” he added.
“In this moment he looks really good to be honest. That’s cool – really cool for him and cool for us.
“(It’s) a very important moment for him. I am in talks with him, what he feels.
“I don’t want to make him the most physically strongest player in the squad or whatever.
“The most physically strong player in the squad cannot play football like Daniel Sturridge and he has no possibility to be that, to be the marathon man of the team, but he can be a very decisive player.
“It’s a good moment and hopefully it will stay like that.”
Sturridge could be in line to start the Premier League campaign at home to West Ham in just over a fortnight’s time with Roberto Firmino – along with fellow Brazil international Alisson – only rejoining the squad at next week’s training camp in France.
Another of the club’s Brazilians, Allan Rodrigues de Souza, has joined Eintract Frankfurt, subject to international clearance, after signing a contract extension with Liverpool.
The 21-year-old, who does not yet qualify for a UK work permit, has previously had loan spells with SJK, Sint-Truidense, Hertha Berlin and, most recently, Apollon Limassol.