Klopp: Liverpool contracts mean Anfield progress can continue for years
LIVERPOOL, England -- Jurgen Klopp expects Liverpool's development to continue well after this season as the core of his squad are tied down to long-term contracts.
On Thursday, Andrew Robertson became the latest first-team player to sign a five-year deal at Liverpool, with Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, Jordan Henderson and Joe Gomez all having done the same in recent months. Alisson and Virgil van Dijk also penned lengthy contracts when they moved to Anfield.
"I am interested in progress but I don't judge it constantly," Klopp, who has a contract that lasts until 2022, told a news conference on Friday. "I don't think about the games two or three weeks ago. Progress is something everybody should expect.
"The club gave us fantastic opportunity to bring in outstanding players, to keep outstanding players. My job is to make sure we perform on the pitch.
"Where will we be in two or three years? I have no idea. But the age group is good. This season will not finish our development.
"It doesn't look like we'll lose any key player, it looks like the players are here with all they have, enjoying it with the other boys in the stadium, training ground. We build a new training ground, another step in the future.
"The progress we made so far, I am not interested in, I am only interested in the progress we still have to make. There's a lot to do and everybody can see that."
Liverpool sit four points clear of reigning champions Manchester City in the Premier League. Klopp -- who is ranked at No. 2 among the world's managers in the ESPN FC 100 -- is yet to produce any silverware in his reign at Liverpool, although his team have secured back-to-back top-four finishes and reached the finals of the Champions League, Europa League and League Cup.
"In general it's always a good sign to have the opportunity to extend contracts early," the Liverpool manager said. "If we can keep these boys together, we are in the middle of our development, so it's good news for Liverpool.
"These 17, 18 players plus the really young boys, that's the squad of the future. It should be like this. It's investment, the club gave us the opportunity to do it. Really nice."
Meanwhile, Klopp said he expects Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to feature at some point this season, with the midfielder having recently resumed light training after knee surgery last May.