STEVEN Gerrard used to have a template text to turn to ahead of every summer.
Before silly season entered full swing, the former Liverpool captain was instructed to message the club’s priority targets to convince them to join him at Anfield. Often, he felt daft as he dabbled on his phone, tailoring the SMS to particular players.
He knew they were “pissing in the wind” trying to pinch Toni Kroos, and was well aware Alexis Sanchez to Arsenal was pretty much complete when he pressed send. But Gerrard texted away regardless because Liverpool needed top talent, because he wanted to play alongside top talent, and because top talent attracts further top talent which lines the way to silverware.
The Reds lost more than words could ever adequately detail when Gerrard departed at the end of last season, but he will be glowing in glittery LA knowing his SMSes are no longer required by the club.
Liverpool have fresh ammunition in the market in the form of the stubbly, spectacled, seriously well respected and super magnetic Jürgen Klopp.
The German can land World Cup winners and leap the challenge of being absent from the Champions League. He can entice the big names and pull in the ones for the future
Liverpool are thinking big and outside the box because they can. They’re looking at their man in the dugout and thinking, “who wouldn’t want to play for him?” The club are entering the kind of conversations they haven’t been able to for seasons, for years, for too long.
Mario Götze is open to joining Liverpool because of Klopp. Because he is proof of Klopp’s talent of turning potential into star power. Because he confident Klopp can restore the club’s continental authority as he did at Borussia Dortmund.
Joel Matip will line up for the Reds next season because of Klopp. Schalke were desperate to extend his contract, but they didn’t have the 1.96m mountain of charisma in their corner.
It took one call from the Liverpool boss to convince Serbian starlet Marko Grujic, who was pursued by Inter Milan, Chelsea and PSG, that Anfield was his ultimate option.
Piotr Zielinski, watched by both Manchester clubs and targeted by Juventus, Roma and Napoli, has already done his research on the club after hearing Klopp is keen on him.
Arsenal have been determined to secure Leicester’s left-back Ben Chilwell, but he too looks swayed by the German.
That Liverpool have explored the possibility of bringing in Barcelona’s Marc-Andre ter Stegen is progress. That Manchester City have also decided to do so is an external factor that can’t be controlled.
This is not fantasy football, but suddenly reality for the Reds is looking a lot peachier with a lot less “pissing in the wind.”
When Fenway Sports Group appointed Klopp in October, they banked on such a heavyweight acquisition leading to more authority in other aspects of the club like recruitment. That was the correct conclusion.
There is no sign of the divisive sparring that dominated the transfer committee’s dealings over the past three years and the manager’s clout gives the collaborative approach a power it hasn’t previously enjoyed.
In Dortmund, they call Klopp a God. Liverpool are learning they can do all things through him, which strengthens them.