Liverpool fans all breathed a sigh of relief when the Spanish transfer window shut last week.
The Reds faced an uphill struggle in their bid to retain Philippe Coutinho who was more than appetised by a Barcelona switch. And, both admirably and incredibly, Liverpool held their ground.
Few would expect the club to keep their promises when bids such as £118 million are being thrown around. Nevertheless, Coutinho remains a Liverpool player with the club’s attacking force looking all the more ominous.
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Jurgen Klopp issued a commanding statement: “I wasn’t manager when Suarez was sold, I wasn’t manager when Sterling was sold. I’m manager now, and we’re not selling Coutinho.”
You’ve got to love the man, Liverpool fan or not.
The German has been something of a revelation at Anfield. Although he’s yet to collect silverware on Merseyside, a title challenge akin to the 2013-14 campaign seems a question of when, not if.
It’s an impressive achievement when you consider the situation he inherited at the club. The post-Luis Suarez era had been a cruel mistress to Brendan Rodgers who was dogged by bizarre transfer decisions and inconsistent form.
Yet, in mere months, Klopp was able to instill exciting and attacking football. Only a resurgent Sevilla prevented the 50-year-old from firing Liverpool back into the Champions League at the first attempt.
As Simon Mignolet has revealed too, the players felt the impact almost insantly.
The Belgian shot stopper has recalled the squad’s very first meeting with their new manager and his ‘first words’, which are typical Klopp.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Mignolet reminisced: “That was the first word the boss said when he arrived at Liverpool Football Club — be 'a machine', be all together.
“[It's] not only [distribution from me] but communication and the space you have to [use] behind the defence.
“That's a lot more important than a penalty save you have to make in the game which is the obvious one and jumps into the eye.”
Liverpool’s 4-0 thumping of Arsenal certainly showed the machine-like qualities to which Klopp originally referred. And Mignolet is more than aware of how the ‘machine’ can evolve.
Referring to his absence from the first XI against the Gunners, Mignolet spoke out about being dropped: “It makes you stronger.
“I've been five years at Liverpool and in all these stages throughout my career one thing that always comes back is that I managed to fight back and be stronger than before.”
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