Comparing Jurgen Klopp vs Pep Guardiola’s transfer business at Liverpool and Manchester City as title race nears epic conclusion
The Premier League title race is edging closer to what promises to be a dramatic conclusion as both Liverpool and Manchester City vie for the prestigious crown.
Neither side is relenting in their quest for top spot and separating the pair is proving almost impossible.
As it stands, Liverpool are top and clear by two points.
However, they have played a game more. So if City were able to beat bitter rivals Manchester United next Wednesday, they would be one point clear.
With Tottenham Hotspur and Ajax leading the way in the Champions League, the policy of spending big to win big seems a touch outdated.
And in the Premier League, City and Liverpool are two of the biggest. So how have the respective mangers spent their money since taking charge?
Here at talkSPORT.com, we wanted to examine how both managers have used the considerable transfer funds at their disposal to propel their sides into the reckoning for the top prize in the English game.
With Klopp taking over in 2015 and Guardiola arriving just a year later, the time frame for comparison is almost identical.
JURGEN KLOPP STATS
The German is not afraid to splash the cash…
- Date joined: 7/10/15
- Players signed: 13
- Total amount spent on transfers: £398,475,000
- Average transfer fee per player: £30,651,923
*stats courtesy of transfermarkt.co.uk
To describe Brendan Rodgers’ transfer policy at Liverpool as erratic would be fair and his sacking saw the Fenway Sports Group search overseas for his successor.
Klopp’s self-imposed sabbatical from Borussia Dortmund was soon over and the German was tasked with getting the Reds back to the pinnacle of world football.
With a second successive Champions League Final almost delivered and a first ever Premier League title within his grasp, it’s fair to say the 51-year-old has succeeded.
Since his first transfer window in January 2016, Klopp has altered his transfer policy somewhat. At Dortmund, he brought through a team of academy graduates and bargain buys to Bundelisga glory. Signing Robert Lewandowski for just €4.5million was a particularly shrewd move.
His attempt to be as frugal on Merseyside was not a complete success, to put it politely, as the likes of Ragnar Klavan, Marko Grujic and Loris Karius proved to all be poor signings.
While it is perhaps too early to judge him, Naby Keita has not had the impact many had hoped, nor that his early form promised.
In all honesty, the German has worked wonders with his business dealings since taking over at Anfield.
By changing from his bargain hunting style to an all-out charm offensive, Klopp has welcomed some of the biggest names to the red half of Merseyside.
Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Fabinho have all proved invaluable to Liverpool’s title challenge and Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker are arguably the best in the world in their respective positions.
PEP GUARDIOLA STATS
The Spaniard has inspired a revolution with City’s riches…
- Date joined: 30/6/16
- Players signed: 22
- Total amount spent on transfers: £539,721,000
- Average transfer fee per player: £24,532,773
*stats courtesy of transfermarkt.com
After performing footballing miracles at Bayern Munich and Barcelona, the Manchester City board finally convinced Pep Guardiola to try his hand in the Premier League.
An indifferent debut season saw the Spaniard show his ruthless side as he completely revamped City’s defence by cutting out the likes of Gael Clichy, Pablo Zabaleta and Joe Hart – all firm fan favourites.
However, his methods clearly deliver results and last season’s record-breaking Premier League title success is proof of that. But the lack of Champions League success will irk the former Barca captain.
Guardiola has spent big during his time at the Etihad, but you cannot fault his efficiency.
After deciding the aforementioned Hart was not technically gifted enough, he immediately shipped the England intentional out tin place of Claudio Bravo. However, the arrival from La Liga proved to be a flop and Guardiola was forced to delve into the transfer market 12 months later.
Another player from that first window who could not cut it was Nolito, a player who promised a lot but delivered little. And the jury is out on Riyad Mahrez still – a player lacking consistency and the pedigree in big games.
Like Klopp, when Guardiola gets it right in the transfer window, he gets it very right.
Leroy Sane, Bernardo Silva, Ederson and Gabriel Jesus can form the spine of this City team for years and the mix of decorated players from across the continent yet to hit their prime like Ilkay Gundogan and Benjamin Mendy also makes for a great squad.
The Spaniard has also spent well when bargain hunting. Oleksandr Zinchenko has developed into a Premier League standard defender while Jack Harrison (on loan at Leeds United) could well become a regular in years to come.
LATEST TRANSFER NEWS
Jurgen Klopp’s revolution at Liverpool may have cost a pretty penny, but the German takes the biscuit in this contest.
While Guardiola has added to an already star-studded City team, his title adversary has literally taken a side struggling to qualify from the Europa League to the brink of a European and domestic double.
Should Klopp win the Premier League title this season, the signings he has brought in during the past 12 months alone will be crucial to a potentially historic season for the Reds.
Source: SportsLatest TS