Jurgen Klopp operates in top spending brackets while Mauricio Pochettino the lowest

Alex Rea 14/09/2018
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Same, same but different.

Mauricio Pochettino and Jurgen Klopp are two managers entwined by the same kudos they receive from the football world.

They are correctly lauded for an ability to coax every drop of talent from their respective squads as they pivot between achieving short-term progression with long-term project goals.

Their man-management and tactical skills have been praised far and wide while, curiously, the twin praise is mirrored by the identical criticism of failing to capture trophies.

Their resemblances are easy to conjure, yet there is one area of the game their paths diverge – transfer spending.

Indeed, the two managers meet at Wembley on Saturday and there is a sense of a crossroads emerging after their summer business.

Spurs became the first side in the Premier League era not to make a single signing in the summer window – perhaps a consequence of their new stadium development and the delays to that project.

In contrast, Liverpool went big. Really big. Naby Keita, Alisson and Fabinho were huge headline deals as the Reds look to push away from rivals like Tottenham and pull in champions Manchester City.

And the showdown on Saturday will be a real indication of whether putting the money where his mouth is can see Klopp genuinely challenge this season.

For the hosts, it may point to the future as they look to balance the books after the costly development of White Hart Lane.

We’ve examined Pochettino and Klopp’s spending habits during their time with Spurs (from 2014) and Liverpool (from 2015) to assess where and how well their money is being spent.

£40m+

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JURGEN KLOPP: Virgil van Dijk £70.92m, Alisson £56.25m, Naby Keita £54m, Fabinho £40.5m

MAURICIO POCHETTINO: n/a

Every one of Klopp’s signings in this bracket has been purchased in 2018 to not only tangibly prove the support he holds from owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG), but also to show how the club have changed tact.

The ‘net spend’ argument has reared its head in practically all of Klopp’s transfer windows but it was dormant last summer.

Credit where its due though as all four signings take Liverpool to the next level. Van Dijk has fortified a leaky backline, Alisson the final piece of that defensive jigsaw between the sticks while Keita is one of the world’s finest complete midfielders and Fabinho, while as-yet unproven for the Reds, offered quality in various roles for Monaco.

Pochettino on the other hand has never broken the £40m barrier, a statistic in equal measure startling and impressive when you consider what he’s achieved on a tighter budget.

£30-39m

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JURGEN KLOPP: Mohamed Salah £37.8m, Sadio Mane £37.08m, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain £34.2m

MAURICIO POCHETTINO: Davinson Sanchez £36m, Moussa Sissoko £31.5m

The Argentine arrives when we dip into this bracket of spending. Sanchez is a club-record buy but the sack of cash spent on him equates to his bags of potential.

Still, the Colombia defender is one for the future rather than ready-made like, say, Van Dijk, but nonetheless the 22-year-old is a great acquisition.

Sissoko has hardly covered himself in glory, however, and to think he cost roughly £6m shy of Salah is pretty poor business.

Klopp has operated well in this category, too, with aforementioned Salah and fellow ‘Fab Four’ member Mane proving to be absolute steals.

Oxlade-Chamberlain’s fee appeared eye-watering at first, but he was paying dividends up until his terrible knee injury.

£20-29m

JURGEN KLOPP: Georginio Wijnaldum £24.75m

MAURICIO POCHETTINO: Heung-min Son £27m, Lucas Moura £25.56m, Serge Aurier £22.5m

A trend begins to emerge as we move down the sections. Pochettino has completed the vast majority of his business lower down the brackets and he actually improves with more strangled spending.

Hard to believe in the modern market Son cost a paltry £27m given his development under Pochettino into an elite attacking-midfielder while the pair from PSG, Lucas and Aurier, added much-required squad depth.

For Klopp, Wijnaldum is his sole buy and has largely been a success after being reinvented as a classy No6.

£10-19m

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JURGEN KLOPP: Xherdan Shaqiri £13.23m

MAURICIO POCHETTINO: Vincent Janssen £19.89m, Toby Alderweireld £14.4m, Fernando Llorente £13.59m, Victor Wanyama £12.96m, Clinton N’Jie £12.69m, Juan Foyth £11.7m, Ben Davies £11.39m

A quantifiable example of Klopp’s spending arrives in the fact his only signing in this bracket was acquired in the last window.

Shaqiri is an absolute steal, though, after being pinched from relegated Stoke. The Swiss wrecking ball was deeply impressive in a free role in the pre-season and he’s set to make a big impact either when squad rotation comes to the fore or from the bench.

Alderweireld is the standout star from the list for Pochettino and considering fees of up to £75m were being quoted for his transfer in the summer, that £14.4m expenditure is simply absurd for a defender of his ilk.

Davies likewise has proved to be a great capture and has dislodged Danny Rose at left-back.

However, N’Jie and Janssen were obvious flops, although Wanyama has been a solid soldier while Llorente is an able back-up to Harry Kane.

Foyth is yet to make his Premier League debut but has age on his side at just 20 years old.

UNDER £10m

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JURGEN KLOPP: Andrew Robertson £8.10m, Marko Grujic £6.30m, Loris Karius £5.58m, Ragnar Klavan £4.5m

MAURICIO POCHETTINO: Georges-Kevin N’Koudou £9.9m, Federico Fazio £9m, Dele Alli £5.97m, Kevin Wimmer £5.4m, Benjamin Stambouli £5.31m, Michel Vorm £5.12m, Eric Dier £4.5m, Kieran Trippier £4.41m, DeAndre Yedlin £2.34m, Paulo Gazzaniga (undisclosed)

In this category some real diamonds have been uncovered. We’ll start with Pochettino because the trio of Alli, Dier and Trippier all being bought for less than £15m is stunning.

A tip of the cap to the Argentine for a combination of savvy business and brilliant coaching.

You can practically wipe away the relative failures elsewhere here because it’s no exaggeration to say that the £15m combo would fetch £150m and more in the current climate.

And give Klopp his due as well because Robertson has evolved into one of the league’s finest full-backs since moving from Hull. Loris Karius initially looked like a risk-free buy at £5.58m but clearly it didn’t turn out that way after a calamitous display in the Champions League final.

FREE

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JURGEN KLOPP: Alex Manninger, Dominic Solanke, Joel Matip

MAURICIO POCHETTINO: n/a

Not much to scream about here. Matip you could argue has been an extremely good piece of business after signing from Schalke as a free agent, yet his deterioration, both of skill and fitness, takes some of the shine away.

Striker Solanke has been tipped for great things but the mobile targetman has flattered to deceive so far in his Liverpool career.

Still, at 21 and with Klopp by his side there is hope yet he may come through on his rich potential.

Goalkeeper Manninger was only with the club short term before retiring without making an appearance.

*ALL TRANSFER FEES WERE GATHERED FROM TRANSFERMARKT.CO.UK*

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