English Premier League

Liverpool manager Klopp aware of trophies pressure

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says his team’s “next step” is to win trophies but he “cannot give guarantees”.

The Reds have spent nearly £250m – including record fees for a defender and keeper – in the past 12 months but have not won a competition since the 2012 League Cup.

They have lost three cup finals since Klopp took charge in October 2015 and were last champions of England in 1990.

“I know about the expectations and that is completely normal,” said the German.

“We have the highest ambitions – 100%.”

Liverpool broke the transfer record for a goalkeeper when they signed Brazil international Alisson from Roma earlier this month in a deal the Italian club said is worth up to £66.8m.

They also have the world’s most expensive defender in the shape of £75m Netherlands centre-back Virgil van Dijk,

This summer, Guinea midfielder Naby Keita has arrived from RB Leipzig for about £50m, Brazil midfielder Fabinho has joined from Monaco in a deal that could be worth more than £40m, and Switzerland winger Xherdan Shaqiri has been recruited for £13m from Stoke.

However, they sold Brazil playmaker Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona for £142m in January.

“People will say that,” said Klopp about winning trophies. “It is the next step and we need to be ready for that.

“I cannot give guarantees here but I understand if people think that.

“First of all, we have to play the football that gives us an opportunity to win something. We cannot talk about winning something before we start the season.”

Liverpool lost the League Cup and Europa League finals in Klopp’s first season in charge, while they were beaten by Real Madrid in last season’s Champions League final.

In terms of the Premier League, Liverpool have finished eighth, fourth and forth under the German.

“I am confident we can build on last season,” he added.

“The football the boys played last year was not easy. There was a lot of work invested into playing like that. That’s what we will do again. I am not in doubt about our basis or that we will reach it again.”

Klopp expects the competition to be stronger this season and cited Premier League champions Manchester City breaking their transfer record to sign Algeria winger Riyad Mahrez for £60m from Leicester.

“Other teams, of course, will do transfer business as well. They will not be weaker than last year,” said Klopp.

“City brought in Mahrez. I did not hear that they lost one player so far. So it means the quality of last year – plus Mahrez. That’s a nice plan as well.”




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