Frank Lampard’s X-rated touchline row with Jurgen Klopp and his Liverpool staff at the end of last season appeared to be a rare feud that spiralled out of control very quickly.
But despite the Lampard’s subsequent regret over the incident, it appears his German counterpart has reignited the fire between them after turning the spotlight on Chelsea for their spending in this season’s transfer market.
The Blues have splashed £230m this summer on shiny new signings including German duo Kai Havertz and Timo Werner, leading Klopp to say: ‘For some clubs it seems less important how uncertain the future is.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has turned the spotlight on Chelsea for their summer spending
But was the German right to complain about Frank Lampard and Chelsea splashing the cash?
COST OF LIVERPOOL XI VS LEEDS
Alisson – £67m
Trent Alexander-Arnold – Academy
Joe Gomez – £6m
Virgil Van Dijk – £75m
Andy Robertson – £8m
Naby Keita – £57m
Jordan Henderson – £20m
Georginio Wijnaldum – £25m
Mo Salah – £39m
Roberto Firmino – £29m
Sadio Mane – £30m
Total cost: £356m
‘Owned by countries, owned by oligarchs, that’s the truth. We are a different kind of club.
‘We got to the Champions League final two years ago, we won it last year, and became Premier League champions last season by being the club we are, by being led the way we are led.
‘We cannot just change it overnight and say, “So now we want to behave like Chelsea, now they’ve signed a lot of players”.’
Lampard has since hit back claiming Chelsea have only followed in Liverpool’s footsteps this summer, with the Reds having forked out huge sums of cash on the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Alisson and Fabinho in recent seasons.
But does Klopp have a point, especially during the current financial slump, or will he be made to eat his own words?
Klopp claimed he was ‘calm’ despite being left behind by Chelsea and Manchester City in this season’s market, with the champions having only added left-back Kostas Tsimikas to their squad.
But as interpreted by MailOnline‘s body language expert Judi James, Klopp showed signs of suppressed aggression, anger and defensiveness during the BBC interview.
Moreover, his comments also appear somewhat questionable given the cost of his XI against Leeds in comparison to Chelsea’s likely XI against Brighton, with the wider picture giving Klopp no hint of vindication for his ire.
Liverpool had £356m worth of talent starting against Leeds, including £75m Virgil Van Dijk
Alisson, a £67m signing from Roma, also played the seven-goal thriller at Anfield on Saturday
The starting line-up Klopp put out for Liverpool’s win in the seven-goal thriller at Anfield on Saturday cost a whopping £356m.
Van Dijk was the most expensive player in the side following his £75m move from Southampton in January 2018, while £67m Alisson and £57m Naby Keita also started.
Liverpool’s well-renowned attacking trio of Sadio Mane, Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino cost the club £98m in total, with Trent Alexander-Arnold the only academy product in Klopp’s XI.
Scotland left-back Andy Robertson, England centre-back Joe Gomez and captain Jordan Henderson have been proven bargains with the club’s Champions League and Premier League trophies during the last two seasons.
Naby Keita, a £57m signing from RB Leipzig, was also part of the Liverpool midfield
Kai Havertz, who joined Chelsea for £89m, is likely to be given the nod against Brighton
COST OF POSSIBLE CHELSEA XI VS BRIGHTON
Willy Caballero – Free
Cesar Azpilicueta – £7m
Kurt Zouma – £12m
Andreas Christensen – Academy
Marcos Alonso – £23m
N’Golo Kante – £32m
Mason Mount – Academy
Kai Havertz – £89m
Callum Hudson-Odoi – Academy
Timo Werner – £53m
Christian Pulisic – £58m
Total cost: £274m
Yet Keita’s presence in Liverpool’s opener against Marcelo Bielsa’s men saw more than £100m worth of talent in the hosts’ midfield, with the Guinean joined by Georginio Wijnaldum and Henderson.
Chelsea meanwhile kick off their new campaign against Brighton on Monday night and could possibly start with an XI that has cost less money than Klopp’s men, amounting to £274m.
The Blues have an abundance of talent in attacking areas following the acquisitions of Havertz and Werner for a combined £142m, which could have been further embellished by the presence of Hakim Ziyech had the £38m Moroccan been fit.
Christian Pulisic, who cost £58m from Borussia Dortmund, should also feature in their XI against Graham Potter’s side.
Lampard’s side is also boosted by the presence of three academy products in the form of centre-back Andreas Christensen, midfield star Mason Mount and winger Callum Hudson-Odoi.
Marcos Alonso represents Chelsea’s biggest outlay in terms of defenders at £23m, but that is somewhat offset by the mere £7m the Blues paid to Marseille for now-captain Cesar Azpilicueta.
Lampard has confirmed that a couple of his new stars will have to wait a little longer for their debuts due to injuries, but even their inclusion would not force Chelsea’s overall figure above Liverpool’s.
Christian Pulisic joined for £58m last year and should start in a new attacking Blues line-up
Chelsea also have stars who will have to wait for their debuts due to injury, like Ben Chilwell
England left-back Ben Chilwell joined the Stamford Bridge outfit for £50m from Leicester in August, but has been ruled out of the Brighton game through a foot injury, while the aforementioned Ziyech had a knee complaint in a friendly against the Seagulls last month and will also not feature.
Should the duo have been fit and replaced Alonso and Hudson-Odoi respectively in the XI, that would still only bring Chelsea’s figure up to £339m, some £17m short of the Reds’ figure.
Only if Lampard had the duo fit and then sprung a surprise and included goalkeeping flop Kepa Arrizabalaga would Chelsea’s figure exceed Liverpool’s £356m following the Spaniard’s £72m arrival from Athletic Bilbao two years ago.
Hakim Ziyech also suffered a knee problem last month and will not feature against Brighton
Chelsea’s figure would only exceed the Reds’ if flop Kepa Arrizabalaga was also then included
But having been frozen out by Lampard and the club increasingly confident of landing Rennes goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, Willy Caballero – a free transfer from Manchester City – is likely to start between the posts and ensures the figure – for the time being at least – remains well below the £300m mark.
The Blues’ process to try to challenge Liverpool’s domination from last season on the field begins in earnest on Monday evening.
Both sides still have time to do business with the transfer window not shutting until October 6, with the Reds still in the hunt for Bayern Munich star Thiago Alcantara.
But so far it appears that Chelsea were an undeserved recipient of Klopp’s outburst, with all the pressure now on the German to deliver further success to a side revelling in a first league title in 30 years last season.
The clubs could yet do more business, with the Reds still courting Thiago Alcantara
Meanwhile the Blues are getting closer to signing Rennes goalkeeper Edoaurd Mendy