Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has defended the club's quiet summer transfer window, during which they did not to complete a major signing, saying "90 per cent of our people" agree with their activity. He added the other 10 per cent are "worried people" on social media.
Klopp addressed the media before Liverpool kick off the Premier League season at home to Norwich City on Friday, praising his club for keeping last season's UEFA Champions League-winning squad together:
"Is it a gamble? No. I really think it makes sense to keep this team together but we have to prove that.
"If we had bought new players people might ask 'after you played last season like this you send some of them away?'
"We have to make our decisions based on our expectations of what we think we can do this year. By the way, the history of Liverpool does not end this season. We will judge the season and see what we have to do. Maybe then it will be easier to find improvement."
The Reds manager identified player retention as a hallmark of "big teams of the past." He highlighted Manchester United's famous Class of '92 and the Barcelona team from "six, seven years ago"—Pep Guardiola won 14 trophies as Barca coach between 2008 and 2012—as examples of teams maintaining world-class squads.
Klopp reiterated his aim is to not spend for the sake of spending, per the Liverpool Echo's Ian Doyle:
Liverpool signed Sepp van den Berg from Dutch club PEC Zwolle for a reported £1.3 million before picking up goalkeeper Adrian for free. Harvey Elliott, 16, also joined after his Fulham contract expired in June, although the west London club stands to receive a record tribunal fee of more than £10 million for that deal.
Many fans would have wanted the club to spend more after finishing one point behind champions Manchester City in the Premier League last season.
However, Klopp believes the vast majority of those around the club are in support of Liverpool's business—or lack thereof:
"Around 90 per cent of our people are with us with the transfer policy—10 per cent maybe not, but they are on social media. They are constantly worried people. If you sign a player they ask is it the right player.
"You cannot sign just because people want you to sign someone. This team is a good age with space for improvement. If we had found the solution for problems we might have during the season we would have done it. It was not there for a reasonable price. We always do it like that."
It would be understandable if Liverpool needed a quiet summer after spending so heavily in 2018. The Reds spent around £160 million on new players last year while receiving approximately £34 million in sales, and Virgil van Dijk joined for £75 million in January 2018.
Football writer Gareth Roberts recently appeared on Off The Ball and said Klopp deserves trust for the savvy business he's conducted since arriving at Anfield in October 2015:
Liverpool lost to City on penalties in the Community Shield after they drew 1-1 at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, a result Klopp said "showed we will be fine and the rest is what we make of it."
Presenter David Vujanic suggested Liverpool's failure to improve the squad from last season will only result in another close finish just short of silverware:
While Liverpool have been largely inactive, City broke their transfer record to sign Rodri from Atletico Madrid, and Joao Cancelo joined on Wednesday for a reported £60 million—Danilo went to Juventus in return.
Liverpool have saved funds in the hope it will permit more spending in transfer windows to come, although Klopp runs the risk of falling behind the pace in the meantime.