LIVERPOOL ― Juergen Klopp believes Liverpool are already reaping the rewards of their longer-term planning, with his new-look forward line firing the club’s push for a top-four finish in the Premier league.
January-signing Cody Gakpo and Darwin Nunez, who arrived last June, both scored twice in last week’s 7-0 hammering of Manchester United while Mohamed Salah also grabbed two goals.
With Roberto Firmino, the other goalscorer against United, due to leave at the end of the season, only Salah remains from the famed frontline that also included Sadio Mane, now at Bayern Munich.
Nunez has scored 14 goals this season while Gakpo has netted four goals since arriving from PSV Eindhoven, softening the blow of losing Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz for long periods of the season.
“Look at the players we have brought in in the last couple of transfer windows, Luis, Darwin, Cody, players for the first line,” Klopp said yesterday.
“I think Sadio, Bobby and Mo (Mohamed Salah) together were for quite a while one of the best front threes in world football.
“Then Sadio left in the summer, we will see what happens to Bobby in the summer, and only Mo is left pretty much. But we replaced them and Diogo came in that time as well.
“That’s investment, and it’s wise investment and responsible investment. That’s what you want and what you need and what we needed.”
Brazil international Firmino is nearing the end of an eight-year spell at Anfield but has told Klopp he is determined to finish on a high as they chase Champions League qualification.
Victory over relegation-threatened Bournemouth in Saturday’s early kick-off would take them into the top four, at least temporarily, after an impressive recent run in the league.
“He (Firmino) told me and then the only other thing he said is, ‘Now I want to bring this wonderful story to a positive end,’” said Klopp.
“He is completely here and completely committed, how everybody can imagine and that’s all we need to know.
“There’s no time for a goodbye or whatever in this moment, there’s enough time for that later in the season.”
Klopp said last week’s hammering of bitter rivals United had been a “mood booster”.
“We want to squeeze everything out of this season,” he said. “That means obviously if it’s somehow possible we want to go into the top four.” ― AFP