Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp will not be targeting "big names" in upcoming transfer windows and has already made up his mind over the future of several current players, according to Jason McAteer. Klopp hesitated from tinkering with his squad in January, making just two additions in the form of loan signing Steven Caulker and Marko Grujic – who promptly returned to Red Star Belgrade for the rest of the season.
On 15 February the Reds confirmed the third signing of Klopp's reign in the form of Cameroon international Joel Matip, who will move to Merseyside at the end of the campaign following the expiration of his contract at Schalke. The club have been otherwise quiet in the transfer market, though that could change come the summer.
Klopp replaced sacked boss Brendan Rodgers in October, and amid an inconsistent start to life at Liverpool he has been provided a decent insight into the quality and depth of his current squad. Coupled with a transfer policy that is expected to focus on low-key players, McAteer believes Klopp has already made decisions over a handful of his current charges.
"It took him three years to get Dortmund where they were, the former Liverpool utility player told The Irish Post. "He didn't have a great budget there but he knew exactly the players that could fit his philosophy, and I don't think he's in the market for the big names; he's looking for players who can do what he wants.
"He will gradually turn it around, if it's in 18 months' time, then so be it. A lot of the fans – 99% of them – are behind him, he's lost a few because of what's going on at the minute, but it's a process that was always going to happen. It's another man's squad, he wasn't brought in to instantly win the Premier League, he's there for the long haul.
McAteer, who failed to win a single major honour during four years at Liverpool, added: "Jurgen's a clever man and while there were big expectations when he first came in, the fact is he inherited another man's squad, and it was always going to be a learning process for him. It's not a season to be written off, but he'll learn a lot about his squad, who he can rely on, who he wants for next season, players he's identified, who can play the way he wants them to.
"He's looking at the mental toughness of the players when it's not going well because we all know he'll learn more in adversity than when it's going well. You see something when you're beating Chelsea or [Manchester] City, but you see a lot more when you're beaten by Watford and West Ham away. You see the players who roll their sleeves up, put a shift in. And I've got to say there's probably a few players who aren't adding up to his expectations."