London (AFP) – Chelsea coach Frank Lampard says he is amused rather than annoyed by Jurgen Klopp’s criticism of his summer spending, pointing out that Liverpool splashed the cash on the road to Premier League glory.
Lampard has invested around £200 million ($257 million) on Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Hakim Ziyech and Ben Chilwell, with Thiago Silva arriving on a free transfer and goalkeeper Edouard Mendy reportedly set to join from Rennes.
By contrast, Klopp has added only Greece left-back Kostas Tsimikas to his league-winning squad so far.
Lampard, whose side begin their campaign away at Brighton on Monday, said any owner needed huge resources to compete in the Premier League.
“I was less annoyed with it, I found it more, slightly amusing, I would say,” he said, referring to Klopp’s comments.
“Because I think when you talk about the owners of clubs I don’t think it matters what line of business they come from, we’re talking about some very wealthy owners of clubs in the Premier League.”
– Chelsea ban –
Lampard, who last season warned Liverpool not to get “too arrogant” after they won the title, said the champions’ owners, Fenway Sports Group, had spent a lot of money since Klopp had been in charge.
“Liverpool’s story, it’s a fantastic story of a club over four-and-a-half, five years that Jurgen Klopp’s been there that have managed to get recruitment right to a really high level,” said the Chelsea boss.
“And the reality is probably, other than maybe Leicester (champions in 2016), which is an incredible story, most clubs that win the Premier League in the modern day have recruited well and recruited at a high level money-wise.
“And you can go through the Liverpool players: Van Dijk, Alisson, Fabinho, Keita, Mane, Salah, incredible players, that came at a very high price.”
Lampard, who guided Chelsea to fourth place and the FA Cup final in his first season in charge, said his spending should be put into context, given that when he replaced Maurizio Sarri the club was under a transfer ban.
“So Liverpool have done it, and they’ve done it over a period of time,” said Lampard.
“What we’ve done is come off the back of a ban, probably tried to address the situation ourselves to help improve us.
“So I think it’s par for the course, and I think we all know that there’s no point in doing the maths too much because I think we know that Liverpool have spent at a high level, we know they have an incredible coach, we know they have incredible players.”
Lampard said he hoped he could do as Klopp had done and repay the faith of owner Roman Abramovich by delivering results.
“The really smart thing Liverpool have done I think is believe in their coach, believe in their system for a number of years,” he said.
“So it’s a great story, but it’s story that has seen money spent on players. And this summer we’ve spent money on players, and now the hard work has to be done.”
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