Jurgen Klopp has outlined his intention to stop Liverpool being considered as a stepping stone of sorts for players.
The Reds have enjoyed a positive summer transfer window so far, bringing in six players for over £60million, and cutting deadwood from a bloated squad.
They face Barcelona in a high-octane pre-season friendly on Saturday, in which a 90,000 sell-out crowd at Wembley will witness the return of Luis Suarez.
Suarez almost fired Liverpool to the Premier League title in the 2013/14 season but left for Barcelona that summer to achieve his goals of domestic and European glory.
The Uruguayan sensation became the latest in a long line of players who have left Anfield to further their hopes of silverware. The list includes Xabi Alonso, Fernando Torres, Javier Mascherano and Raheem Sterling among others.
“Yes, I think we can do this,” Klopp told the Liverpool Echo when asked whether he can stop the talent drain on his squad. “It’s one of the targets for the coming years.
“There hasn’t been a successful team in world football who change their squad every year. You need to need your key players. That’s a very important thing.
“You have to create a situation where you are successful. A situation where everyone feels in a good way and we are strong enough and patient enough to keep them together.
“We say that same squad and consistency creates success.
“But on the other hand if you aren’t successful then people will say you need a complete change – that’s how people are. That doesn’t make much sense.”
“I spoke before this transfer window about not needing to change a lot,” the German added. “We actually didn’t change too much but we have seven new players here. So, in fact, we changed a lot! Both statements are true.
“We’ve kept all of our key players and gave a few of our big talents the opportunity to play somewhere else because of the education they had at Liverpool.
“We want to be a club in the future for sure whose players don’t want to leave. That’s very important.
“But it will only be possible with success and the atmosphere we create in and around the club.”
Liverpool fans still have doubts about the team’s quality and depth, and they are not wholly convinced by what the club has added to the squad so far this summer. They believe in the manager, but they’d love to see him given a better set of cards to play with.
Fair enough. And in the interests of balance, it should be pointed out that there are plenty, too, who are positive about the new campaign, and believe the likes of Saido Mane, Georgino Wijnaldum, Joel Matip, Marko Grujic, Ragnar Klavan, Loris Karius can help correct the failings of last season and bring the club success.
But while the debate about finances, backing from the owners and diminishing expectations will continue – and so it should, by the way – Liverpool’s transfer strategy with Klopp in charge at least looks to have a clear plan, a clear direction. It also, crucially, seems to have the full support of the manager.