Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick has claimed some credit for Jurgen Klopp’s success at Liverpool after insisting he discovered “six or seven” of his players.
Klopp has brought the glory days back to Anfield in recent years with the German winning a Premier League title, a Champions League, a League Cup, a UEFA Super Cup and a FIFA Club World Cup since arriving in 2015.
The former Borussia Dortmund boss has also revolutionised the way the Reds play while he, along with sporting director Michael Edwards, has to take huge credit for their recruitment in recent years.
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Liverpool face Rangnick’s Man Utd side on Tuesday night as they look to go top of the Premier League ahead of Manchester City’s fixture against Brighton on Wednesday.
Rangnick has played a key role in the careers of Liverpool stars Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, Joel Matip, Ibrahima Konate, Naby Keita and Takumi Minamino during his time as a sporting director and a coach.
And Rangnick emphasised the part he played on their journey to success under Klopp at Liverpool. He said ahead of the match: “They are good, they are extremely good. It’s no coincidence that they’re as good as they are.
“Jurgen has built that team over the last six-and-a-half years. Six or seven of those players used to be my – or our – players.
“We signed them for our clubs when nobody knew them and again it’s no coincidence that this is probably the club with the highest number of players from our former clubs. Their approach, their style of football, the way they want to play is pretty similar.”
After beating struggling Norwich City 3-2 with a barely-acceptable display on Saturday, Rangnick knows his side need to raise their game to get anything at Anfield tomorrow.
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Rangnick added: “Of course they will (show their desire to finish in the top four).
“Of course they also showed today that they were trying to win that game but, as I said, for me it’s a question of being physical enough in those moments and it was not the first time today, it happened in games earlier on.
“If I still remember the game at Leeds, where we played at the end with Scotty (McTominay) and with Fred, yes it was a battle and we were up to the standards at Leeds, but this has to happen more regularly.
“It’s quite obvious. Even the reason why the club contacted me in November was the fact we just conceded too many goals too easily.
“We reduced the number of goals conceded but the way that we defend is still not the standard that we need in order to be a top-four club.”