Why Jurgen Klopp can no longer play the underdog card with Liverpool

For many years now, Jurgen Klopp has been able to paint a picture of Liverpool as the plucky underdogs fighting against state-owned Manchester City for Premier League supremacy.

However, over the last year or so in particular, many rival fanbases have grown increasingly tired of the underdog act.

Speaking earlier this year, Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel lauded Klopp for his ability to force people to believe that his side are perennial overachievers: “Jurgen Klopp is the master of being the underdog.

“He can talk you into Liverpool being an underdog against Villarreal and against Benfica, and that it is a miracle how they make it to even draw against them. He does it a lot of times and that's part of where the sympathy comes from.”

Klopp, himself, meanwhile, continues to aim jibes at Manchester City’s spending, having had the following to say about the Sky Blues just last summer: "We are allowed to spend the money we earn...they obviously don’t have any limits.”

The reality of the situation in the last few years, though, is that Liverpool have been one of the biggest spenders in the Premier League.

They have the second most expensive centre-back, second most expensive goalkeeper and, if their deal for Darwin Nunez deal sees add-ons met in full, the fourth most expensive signing in Premier League history.

In defence of their club, Liverpool fans have used the ‘Coutinho money’ argument, which is now something of a joke amongst rivals supporters. As a result, in more recent times, the Reds have pointed to their club's net spend.

Even last summer, when City splashed £100m on Jack Grealish and Liverpool only signed Ibrahima Konate for £36m, Liverpool fans were on their high horse, not taking into account that they then went on to spend over £40m on Luis Diaz in January, whilst City brought in no one.

As per transfermarket, from the summer of 2020 to the present day, Liverpool have the third-highest net spend in the Premier League, with a negative balance of £177.17m.

In comparison, Manchester City and Chelsea - both of whom have been heavily criticised by Liverpool fans and their manager for their signings of Romelu Lukaku (£97.5m) and Grealish (£100m) - have lower net spends with negative balances of just over £169m since the summer of 2020.

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Josh Barker

Josh Barker

Middlesbrough fan from the North East of England. @JoshBarker979 on Twitter.

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