As Chelsea start their Premier League season this evening at Sheffield United, Frank Lampard has responded to Klopp’s recent comments on Chelsea’s transfer activity.
After spending more than £200million on new recruits in a summer of rebuilding, Chelsea have well and truly splurged following the lifting of their recent transfer ban.
However, during a recent interview, Jurgen Klopp insisted that Liverpool were different from “clubs owned by countries and oligarchs” – a thinly veiled pop at the spending habits of other clubs, mainly Chelsea.
Granted, there was a 33 points difference between Liverpool and Chelsea last season and while the champions are still the team to catch, there’s an argument that Liverpool haven’t significantly improved their squad from this position of strength.
Speaking ahead of the match against Sheffield United, Lampard was asked about Klopp’s comments and he said: “I was less annoyed with it, I found it more, slightly amusing, I would say. Because I think when you talk about the owners of clubs, I don’t think it matters what line of business they come from, we’re talking about some very wealthy owners of clubs in the Premier League.”
The Chelsea boss praised Liverpool’s recruitment and the club’s complete faith in Klopp’s system, but he did point out that Liverpool have made some significant investment in their squad too.
“I think with Liverpool’s story – and I referenced it a lot last year – it’s a fantastic story of a club over four-and-a-half, five years that Jurgen Klopp’s been there that have managed to get recruitment right to a really high level.
“And the reality is probably, other than maybe Leicester, which is an incredible story, most clubs that win the Premier League in the modern day have recruited well and recruited at a high level money-wise. And you can go through the Liverpool players: [Virgil] van Dijk, Alisson, Fabinho, [Naby] Keita, [Sadio] Mane, [Mohamed] Salah, incredible players that came at a very high price.”
As for their season opener against Sheffield United, Lampard is expected to give league debuts to his summer signings from Germany, Timo Werner and Kai Havertz.
However, Lampard also stated that Chelsea are not unique in terms of going on a spending spree.
“Liverpool have done it, and they’ve done it over a period of time. What we’ve done is come off the back of a ban, probably tried to address the situation ourselves to help improve us. So I think it’s par for the course, and I think we all know that there’s no point in doing the maths too much, because I think we know that Liverpool have spent at a high level, we know they have an incredible coach, we know they have incredible players,” he said.
This isn’t the first time that the two managers have exchanged heated words before. During their recent 5-3 thriller at Anfield, Lampard warned Liverpool not to become ‘too arrogant’ following their title success.
“Some of the bench, it’s a fine line between when you are winning – and they’ve won the league, fair play to Liverpool Football Club – but also don’t get too arrogant with it,” Lampard told Sky Sports.
Klopp hit back at Lampard refuting claims of arrogance among his coaching staff.
“You cannot hit me with something like that, or my bench, because we are not arrogant. Frank was obviously in a really competitive mood, I respect that a lot. You can pretty much, from my point of view, say in a situation like this what you want.
“For me, after the game, it’s completely over. I said a lot in the past and it’s pure emotion. We are really involved, he came here to win the game or to get a point to make Champions League qualification happen finally, and I respect that lot.”