Klopp's transfer savvy will transform the Reds, says McAteer
Former Reds star confident Pool boss will bring in players to transform team
Juergen Klopp's transfer savvy will help Liverpool become genuine contenders for the Premier League title in time to come.
That's the confident view of former Reds star Jason McAteer.
The former Republic of Ireland international midfielder, who is in town with former teammate and Liverpool great Robbie Fowler as part of the club's support for local co-operative NTUC Income's community involvement and development arm OrangeAid, spoke to The New Paper just before his former team's mammoth clash against Manchester United last night.
"I think the club are in transition and I'm really, really excited by Klopp," said McAteer, 44, who played 139 times for Liverpool from 1995 to 1999.
"I think he's a perfect fit for Liverpool going forward.
"I'm not looking for a quick fix. It's going to take time for the manager to implement his philosophy.
"The players are still learning. And there are still new additions to be made.
"You look at the success he's had at Borussia Dortmund, and I think he'll follow that blueprint.
"He brought players who not many people knew about to Dortmund.
"But, when he left the club, we all know who (Robert) Lewandowski is, who (Mario) Goetze is, who (Marco) Reus is.
"He put together a fantastic team to compete with the might of Bayern Munich, and he led them to the Champions League final.
"So it's really exciting what he can do, who he can bring in from the transfer market, and how he can change players... I think over the next 18 months, we will start to see the fruits of what he's trying to do.
"I think in two or three seasons, Liverpool will be challenging for the title. There's no doubt about that."
Fowler, nicknamed "God" by the Reds faithful, reckons the Klopp effect will ensure that Liverpool will not finish the season in mid-table mediocrity.
Klopp took over the reins at Anfield last October, and has won 10 of 22 matches, with Liverpool ninth in the Premier League.
"As Liverpool fans, we want the club to finish as high up the league as possible," said the 40-year-old Fowler, who scored 183 goals in 369 outings for the Reds.
"There's still a chance for Liverpool to put a stamp and leave their mark on the Premier League, and maybe develop this season."
Last night, Fowler and McAteer watched a "live" screening of Liverpool's 1-0 defeat by Manchester United at the Central Fountain Square at Clarke Quay, along with about 200 diehard Liverpool fans.
The event was organised by NTUC Income, whose OrangeAid initiative has disbursed more than $4 million in funds to impact over 5,000 children and youth through its community partners, and 140,000 via health and insurance coverage.
"It is great we're here supporting our team, but we're also here because the club are involved with NTUC Income's OrangeAid," said Fowler.
"It's a great project for under-privileged kids all over Singapore and, fundamentally, why we're here.
"Liverpool are a big club all over the world and, anytime they can put their name or brand to a charity, it's something else... People are going to be more aware of it."
Added McAteer: "There's a big push (for community initiatives) in the Premier League and certainly at Liverpool Football Club, and it's great we can venture afield and do it on a world scale, and not just in Great Britain or the surrounding areas like Merseyside.
"It's also great we can go this way, across the other side of the world, and still help the community in Singapore. It's a great incentive from NTUC Income OrangeAid and it's great Liverpool have partnered them."