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Alla Zakarian

20-07-2020 | 15:17 Football
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Pep Lijnders explains Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool transfer strategy re-think after Philippe Coutinho exit

Pep Lijnders has explained how Liverpool drew up a "conscious strategy" to retain their best players in the wake of Philippe Coutinho's exit. The Reds sold the Brazil international to Barcelona in January 2018 for a fee of £142million. He joined the likes of Raheem Sterling and Luis Suarez as players who had leave the club in recent years, but Jurgen Klopp and his staff have fought to keep hold of their biggest talents since. Klopp's assistant Lijnders explained how the club have bridged the gap and he said how that re-think came about in the summer of 2018. In an interview with AD in Holland, Lijnders said: "Yes, that was a conscious strategy. The difference between 'top Europe' and 'sub-top Europe' is that 'top Europe' can keep its best players together for a longer period of time. Liverpool was still that sub-top [in 2018]. Players left because they could go a step higher. "When we won the Champions League [in 2019], we felt now we have to do everything we can to keep the group together. If it succeeds, that is the most important purchase. Sometimes you look for gold, but then it turns out you're on it. I also strongly believe in promoting young players. To get fresh blood into a team like that. "That is my Dutch nature. And also my own experience as a trainer in the training of FC Porto. Trent Alexander-Arnold joined the youth academy and joined the team along the way, Joe Gomez ditto [from Charlton]. Now talents like Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliott and Neco Williams are coming. You can do that if the core group of your team stays together for a longer period of time, and has the right mentality." Source: Liverpool ECHO

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